Thursday, March 27, 2008

One Huge Leap for Hearing!

Good morning! I am extremely excited this morning. First, I should tell you that Sydney stayed home yesterday. She was iffy to go to school at best. In the end I decided to let her stay home. She spent most of her day on the couch but by evening she was clearly ready to go back to school. Last night she woke about 1:00 AM with a horrible headache. She appears to have slept comfortably for the remainder of the night, however. At this point I am assuming that it was a sinus pressure headache. We shall see what the morning holds.

As you can probably tell, this was not my exciting news. The exciting news for me to share is that the STS study is now available. You may remember me writing an article about 2 months ago on protecting hearing loss from Cisplatin therapy. The article was about a drug called Sodium Thiosulfate or STS which had been shown to protect hearing from the ototoxic effects of Cisplatin. My article goes into far more detail. It can be found here:
A short video is available as well.

The important part to note thing to note is that it is now available in study. The Children's Oncology Group (COG), a pediatric cancer research collaborative in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Adherex Technologies Inc., announced today the activation of a Phase III trial with sodium thiosulfate (STS), a drug being developed to protect against hearing loss caused by cisplatin, a commonly used platinum-based chemotherapy. The goal of this multi-center study, entitled "A Randomized Phase III Study of Sodium Thiosulfate for the Prevention of Cisplatin-Induced Ototoxicity in Children (ACCL0431)," is to evaluate whether STS is an effective and safe means of preventing hearing loss in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy for newly diagnosed germ cell tumors, hepatoblastoma, medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma or osteoscarcoma. The study is expected to enroll approximately 120 children between 1 and 18 years of age in up to 230 COG institutions located in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Patients will be randomized to receive either cisplatin alone, a platinum-based drug associated with frequent hearing loss, or cisplatin plus STS. The study will compare the level of hearing loss (ototoxicity) associated with cisplatin alone versus the combination of cisplatin plus STS. Efficacy of STS will be determined through comparison of hearing sensitivity at follow-up relative to baseline measurements using standard audiometric techniques. Hearing loss will be defined using published criteria from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). It is hypothesized that the proportion of subjects with hearing loss will be reduced by 50 percent (in relative terms) in the STS group as compared to the control (the non-STS group).

This is an enormous coo for parents of children with neuroblastoma. This is a chance to spare your child's hearing. Talk to your oncologist.

Purpose won today.

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