Auditory complications in childhood cancer survivors: a report from the childhood cancer survivor study.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Studies have found associations between cancer therapies and auditory complications, but data are limited on long-term outcomes and risks associated with multiple exposures. PROCEDURE: The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study is a retrospective cohort investigating health outcomes of long-term survivors (5+ years) diagnosed and treated between 1970 and 1986 compared to a randomly selected sibling cohort. Questionnaires were completed by 14,358 survivors of childhood cancer and 4,023 sibling controls. Analysis determined the first occurrence of four auditory conditions in two time periods: diagnosis to 5 years post-diagnosis, and ≥ 5 years post-diagnosis. Multivariable analyses determined the relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of auditory conditions by treatment exposure. RESULTS: Five or more years from cancer diagnosis, survivors were at increased risk of problems hearing sounds (RR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.8-2.8), tinnitus (RR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.4-2.1), hearing loss requiring an aid (RR = 4.4; 95% CI: 2.8-6.9), and hearing loss in 1 or both ears not corrected by a hearing aid (RR = 5.2; 95% CI: 2.8-9.5), when compared to siblings. Temporal lobe and posterior fossa radiation was associated with these outcomes in a dose-dependent fashion. Exposure to platinum compounds was associated with an increased risk of problems hearing sounds (RR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3-3.2), tinnitus (RR = 2.8; 95% CI: 1.9-4.2), and hearing loss requiring an aid (RR = 4.1; 95% CI: 2.5-6.7). CONCLUSIONS: Childhood cancer survivors are at risk of developing auditory complications. Radiation and platinum compounds are determinants of this risk. Follow-up is needed to evaluate the impact of auditory conditions on quality of life.
  • Published In


  • Adolescent, Adult, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Hearing Loss, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Platinum Compounds, Quality of Life, Radiotherapy, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Siblings, Time Factors, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Whelan K; Stratton K; Kawashima T; Leisenring W; Hayashi S; Waterbor J; Blatt J; Sklar CA; Packer R; Mitby P
  • Start Page

  • 126
  • End Page

  • 134
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 1