Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug, used to treat a variety of cancers including bladder, ovarian and testicular cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, 40-80% of adults who take Cisplatin acquire permanent hearing loss.
Researchers have observed that the platinum found in Cisplatin gets retained in a part of the cochlea called stria vascularis. The sustained retention of platinum in the cochlea could be damaging the ear, thus leading to a permanent hearing loss. Cisplatin can remain in the ear for months or even years after chemotherapy treatment.
Doctors are currently working on prevention therapies and treatment for the side effects of this drug and research into its effects are ongoing.