The Origins of Sodium Thiosulfate as an Otoprotective Agent
At the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology held in Washington D.C., October 12-15, Rare Disease Report spoke with Edward Neuwelt, MD of Oregon Health & Science University about the origins of developing sodium thiosulfate as a possible means to protect against chemotherapy-induced hearing loss.
As Dr Neuwelt explains in this video, it was a series of scientific breakthroughs that began with a curious husband trying to understand why his wife lost her hearing following chemotherapy. That curiosity came as a result of studies by Dr Neuwelt trying to find a better chemotherapeutic agent than cisplatin for neuroblastoma. In one early phase 1 study, they noticed that carboplatin, if the blood brain barrier was opened, resulted in patients developing hearing loss in a similar manner to that seen with cisplatin without the blood brain barrier opened.
One patient who developed high frequency hearing loss was a teacher who was devastating by the hearing loss since it greatly impeded her ability to teach. And as Dr Neuwelt explains, her husband, David Scheim did some research and came to the hypothesis that sodium thiosulfate may help protect against hearing loss. Presenting his hypothesis to Dr Neuwelt led the latter to begin studying the otoprotective properties of sodium thiosulfate. Studies that eventually led to the recent SIOPEL 6 study showing the drug to protect against cisplatin-induced hearing hoss.