Action on Hearing Loss Logo
    Total results:
    Search
      Total results:

      Drug to reduce hearing loss due to cancer treatments is now available

      Some cancer survivors develop hearing loss, caused by the drugs that treat cancer. A US-based company, Fennec Pharmaceuticals, have developed a new drug that prevents hearing loss in children who have been treated for liver cancer. Dr Carina Santos, from our research team, tells us more.

      By: Carina Santos | 20 November 2017

      Cancer is a devastating disease but for some people, surviving cancer does not always mean going back to a normal life. Some cancer survivors have to face a life with severe hearing loss caused by their life-saving chemotherapy. The consequences of hearing loss can be particularly devastating in children, impacting on their language and social development.

      Cisplatin is a platinum-based compound widely used in chemotherapy treatments, especially in children‘s cancers because it is highly effective - 80% survival rates. However, this drug can lead to permanent and severe high frequency hearing loss in 6 out of every 10 children following treatment. Hearing loss can occur within hours or days after the first cycle of cisplatin treatment, or develop after repeated rounds of treatment. Many of these children will require hearing aids or cochlear implants for the rest of their lives. However, the adaptation of a child to hearing aids is not easy and a lot of them end up not using them properly. (For real testimonies of mothers dealing with the hearing loss of their children after cancer treatment please watch here and here)

      Fennec Pharmaceuticals is a US-based pharmaceutical company that is developing a drug (Sodium Thiosulfate (STS)) to reduce cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children.  They recently presented their results from Phase III clinical trials – the final stage of clinical testing before a drug is approved for use. The results show that 67% of children with standard risk hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) treated with cisplatin developed hearing loss, compared to just 37% of children that were treated with cisplatin + STS. Fennec pharmaceuticals has also shown that if STS is given 6 hours after cisplatin treatment it could still help protect hearing without interfering with cisplatin’s ability to kill cancer (you can watch Dr. Penelope Brock, MD, of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK, explaining the results here).

      Fennec Pharmaceuticals will now apply for a license from the Food and Drug Administration in the USA and the European Medicines Agency so that they can market and sell the drug they have developed. In the meantime, before it is licensed, parents of children with hepatoblastoma undergoing chemotherapy who wish to protect their children’s hearing with STS can access it under a special scheme called the Named Patient Programme, also known as Compassionate Use Program. These are programmes created by regulators to allow patients with an unmet medical need to have access to promising drugs that are in late-stages of development before they have been approved. You can find out more information about this drug and its Named Patient Programme in the links below.

      To see more about STS please consult Fennec Pharmaceuticals webpage: http://fennecpharma.com/

      Press release of clinical trials results: http://fennecpharma.com/fennec-announces-positive-results-from-phase-3-siopel-6-study-on-pedmark-sodium-thiosulfate-presented-at-the-49th-congress-of-the-international-society-of-pediatric-oncology-siop-2017-mee/

      STS Named Patient Programme: http://fennecpharma.com/fennec-announces-launch-of-european-named-patient-programme-for-sodium-thiosulfate-for-pediatric-patients-with-standard-risk-hepatoblastoma/

      Recent Posts

      Our top products for socialising outdoors

      It’s summertime and the living is easy with our great range of products for deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. Whether you’re planning a picnic in the park, going to an open-air concert, family barbeque, or simply relaxing in the garden, we’ve everything you need to get the most from socialising outdoors.

      By: Sally Bromham
      15 August 2018

      Engineering the future of assistive technology

      The assistive technology community has long been close knit. The result? Limited innovation. Now it’s opening up to much wider influence, particularly from the world of engineering. Could this be a breakthrough in finding solutions to the problems people with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss face every day? Our Technology Manager, Jesal Vishnuram, finds out.

      By: Jesal Vishnuram
      13 August 2018

      Changing lives with the latest hearing loss technology

      The Big Life Fix programme on BBC Two highlights how cutting-edge technology is transforming lives. Action on Hearing Loss supported the Big Life Fix in finding a solution for Bobby, a person with profound deafness, to help him live the life he wants to live.

      By: Sally Bromham
      08 August 2018

      The best 8 tips to raise funds for a charity when running the London Marathon

      Are you considering running a marathon for charity but worried you won't be able to reach the fundraising target? Jess felt the same last year, when she signed up to run for Action on Hearing Loss – but she soon realised that, with planning and the kindness of friends, you can hit that target! Here are her top tips.

      By: Jess
      31 July 2018