What's new in the childhood cancer registry?

02.12.2016 00:00

Long-term auditory complications after childhood cancer

A new study of the SCCR: “Long-term auditory complications after childhood cancer.”

The full publication is available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27650356

Summary of the results

What did we analyse?

We wanted to know if former childhood cancer patients reported long-term auditory complications more often compared to their siblings and which factors would increase the risk for these complications. In addition, we analysed if the risk for long-term auditory complications changed due to modified therapies in the last decades.

Why is this study important?

Platinum chemotherapy or cranial radiation can lead to long-term auditory complications. Up to now, we do not know for Switzerland how often this late-effect appears in former childhood cancer patients. This is why we analysed the frequency of long-term auditory complications depending on the administered treatment. Our goal was to recommend follow-up guidelines for former childhood cancer patients according to their risk profile. Cancer therapies changed over the last decades. Platinum chemotherapy is used more often and cranial radiation is more precise and thus milder for healthy tissue surrounding the tumour. The risk for platinum long-term auditory complications might have changed over the years.

What did we do?

All former childhood cancer patients in Switzerland that were diagnosed with cancer five or more years ago received a questionnaire. It contains questions concerning long-term auditory complications. Siblings were asked the same questions. We compared answers from 2061 former childhood cancer patients and 864 siblings. We received data on administered chemotherapy and radiation from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry.

What did we find?

Over 3 times more often former childhood cancer patients reported long-term auditory complications compared to their siblings (10% vs 3%). Survivors of a brain tumour, neuroblastoma, hepatic tumour, or bone tumour suffered most from long-term auditory complications. We also found a high risk for long-term auditory complications that were treated with platinum chemotherapy (9-fold) or cranial radiation with more than 30 Gray (2-fold). The long-term auditory complications often appeared many years after the cancer treatment. The risk for long-term auditory complications decreased for former patients that were treated in recent years (1996-2005) compared to the ones that were treated before (1976-1995) even so platinum chemotherapy was used in the last decades more often because of its high efficiency.

What does this mean?

  • Long-term auditory complications after platinum chemotherapy or cranial radiation may occur late. This should be considered in follow-ups.

  • Former childhood cancer patients profited from new strategies of childhood cancer treatment. We found a similar or decreasing risk to suffer from long-term auditory complications in the last decades.

    © ISPM - University of Bern 2016