Validation of Hearing Loss Prediction Tool for Cisplatin Chemotherapy and Radiation in Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Brian C. Deutsch, Cathryn Collopy, Dorina Kallogjeri, Jay F. Piccirillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Importance: Hearing loss affects up to 88% of patients undergoing head and neck cancer treatment; however, there are few validated models to predict this outcome. A predictive posttreatment model for hearing loss will allow clinicians and patients to make well-informed decisions about treatment with cisplatin-based chemotherapies and radiotherapy. Objective: To validate a previously created predictive model for objective hearing outcomes and to assess barriers to using the prediction nomogram in general practice for patients newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study includes an evaluation of 105 patients (208 ears) and interviews with 6 clinicians. The patients were treated at a high-volume tertiary care hospital. Patient participants were newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer and treated at Siteman Cancer Center from July 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, with radiotherapy both with and without cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Additionally, the clinicians involved in the care of patients with head and neck cancer were interviewed to assess implementation strategies. Exposures: Radiotherapy with and without cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Main Outcomes and Measures: Hearing defined by the audiometric pure-tone average of 1, 2, and 4 kHz. Results: A total of 105 patients (208 ears; mean [SD] age, 61 [11] years; 82 men [78%]) were compared with the development cohort to assess the similarities and differences in case mix. All patients underwent radiation therapy, 50 (48%) received cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and 67 (64%) had a surgical resection. The mean (SD) cochlear dose of radiation was 13 (12) Gy, and the mean (SD) total cisplatin dose was 238 (83) mg/m2for those undergoing cisplatin therapy. A calibration curve demonstrated that predicted and observed posttreatment pure-tone average were not significantly different. The model predicted a posttreatment pure-tone average greater than 35 dB (a common threshold for hearing aid consideration) with a sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 67% with an area under the curve of 0.71, showing good discrimination. Clinician interviews suggest the nomogram requires careful integration into patient counseling to clarify risks and benefits for treatment. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study confirm this model's ability to predict posttreatment hearing outcomes in a unique population of patients. This model has the potential to inform pretreatment counseling and posttreatment hearing evaluations for this patient population..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


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