Atorvastatin is associated with reduced cisplatininduced hearing loss

Katharine A. Fernandez, Paul Allen, Maura Campbell, Brandi Page, Thomas Townes, Chuan Ming Li, Hui Cheng, Jaylon Garrett, Marcia Mulquin, Anna Clements, Deborah Mulford, Candice Ortiz, Carmen Brewer, Judy R. Dubno, Shawn Newlands, Nicole Schmitt, Lisa L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Cisplatin is widely used to treat adult and pediatric cancers. It is the most ototoxic drug in clinical use, resulting in permanent hearing loss in approximately 50% of treated patients. There is a major need for therapies that prevent cisplatin-induced hearing loss. Studies in mice suggest that concurrent use of statins reduces cisplatin-induced hearing loss. METHODS. We examined hearing thresholds from 277 adults treated with cisplatin for head and neck cancer. Pretreatment and posttreatment audiograms were collected within 90 days of initiation and completion of cisplatin therapy. The primary outcome measure was a change in hearing as defined by the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). RESULTS. Among patients on concurrent atorvastatin, 9.7% experienced a CTCAE grade 2 or higher cisplatin-induced hearing loss compared with 29.4% in nonstatin users (P < 0.0001). A mixed-effect model analysis showed that atorvastatin use was significantly associated with reduced cisplatin-induced hearing loss (P ≤ 0.01). An adjusted odds ratio (OR) analysis indicated that an atorvastatin user is 53% less likely to acquire a cisplatin-induced hearing loss than a nonstatin user (OR = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.30-0.78). Three-year survival rates were not different between atorvastatin users and nonstatin users (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS. Our data indicate that atorvastatin use is associated with reduced incidence and severity of cisplatin-induced hearing loss in adults being treated for head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere142616
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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