Ototoxicity is an irreversible direct and late effect of certain childhood cancer treatments. Audiologic surveillance during therapy as part of the supportive care pathway enables early detection of hearing loss, decision-making about ongoing cancer treatment, and, when applicable, the timely use of audiologic interventions. Pediatric oncologic clinical practice and treatment trials have tended to be driven by tumor type and tumor-specific working groups. Internationally accepted standardized recommendations for monitoring hearing during treatment have not previously been agreed on.
To provide standard recommendations on hearing loss monitoring during childhood cancer therapy for clinical practice.
An Ototoxicity Task Force was formed under the umbrella of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology, consisting of international audiologists, otolaryngologists, and leaders in the field of relevant pediatric oncology tumor groups. Consensus meetings conducted by experts were organized, aimed at providing standardized recommendations on age-directed testing, timing, and frequency of monitoring during cancer treatment based on literature and consensus. Consensus statements were prepared by the core group, adapted following several videoconferences, and finally agreed on by the expert panel.
The consensus reached was that children who receive ototoxic cancer treatment (platinum agents, cranial irradiation, and/or brain surgery) require a baseline case history, monitoring of their middle ear and inner ear function, and assessment of tinnitus at each audiologic follow-up. As a minimum, age-appropriate testing should be performed before and at the end of treatment. Ideally, audiometry with counseling before each cisplatin cycle should be considered in the context of the individual patient, specific disease, feasibility, and available resources.
Conclusions and Relevance
This is an international multidisciplinary consensus report providing standardized supportive care recommendations on hearing monitoring in children undergoing potentially ototoxic cancer treatment. The recommendations are intended to improve the care of children with cancer and facilitate comparative research on the timing and development of hearing loss caused by different cancer treatment regimens.
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Meijer AJM, van den Heuvel-Eibrink MM, Brooks B, et al. Recommendations for Age-Appropriate Testing, Timing, and Frequency of Audiologic Monitoring During Childhood Cancer Treatment: An International Society of Paediatric Oncology Supportive Care Consensus Report. JAMA Oncol. Published online August 12, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.2697
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