Different infusion durations for preventing platinum-induced hearing loss in children with cancer

Original post, click here

Review question

We reviewed the evidence of the effects of different durations of platinum infusion to prevent hearing loss or tinnitus, or both, in children with cancer. We also looked at anti-tumour efficacy, adverse effects other than hearing loss and quality of life.


Platinum-based chemotherapy, including cisplatin, carboplatin or oxaliplatin, or a combination of these, is used to treat different types of childhood cancer. Unfortunately, one of the most important adverse effects of platinum chemotherapy is hearing loss. This can occur not only during treatment but also years after the end of treatment. Although it is not life-threatening, the loss of hearing, especially during the first three years of life, may lead to difficulties with school performance and psychosocial functioning. Therefore, prevention of platinum-induced hearing loss is very important and might improve the quality of life of children undergoing cancer treatment and those who have survived treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.

Study characteristics

The evidence is current to March 2018.

We found one study (91 participants) comparing a continuous cisplatin infusion with a one-hour cisplatin bolus infusion in children with neuroblastoma. For the continuous infusion, cisplatin was administered on days one to five of the treatment cycle but it is not clear if the infusion duration was a total of five days. Only results from shortly after induction therapy were available.

Key results

At the moment there is no evidence showing that the use of a different cisplatin infusion duration prevents hearing loss or adversely affects tumour response and adverse effects. No data were available for the other outcomes of interest (i.e. tinnitus, overall survival, event-free survival and quality of life) or for other (combinations of) infusion durations or other platinum analogues. We need more high-quality research before definite conclusions can be made about the usefulness of different platinum infusion durations to prevent hearing loss in children with cancer.

Quality of the evidence

The quality of the evidence was low.