UBC researchers identify variants that predict deafness from chemotherapy

Research led by three members from the UBC Faculty of Medicine has identified variations in two genes that predict with high specificity which children will likely become deaf as an adverse effect of cisplatin, a lifesaving anti-cancer drug that’s used to treat over one-million patients worldwide each year. It’s frequently used in children to treat different types of cancer including brain, bone and liver cancers. Cisplatin is also used in adults for ovarian, lung, bladder, head and neck cancers.  The study is published online in the journal Nature Genetics.

Dr. Michael Hayden, the study’s principal investigator, is director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) in Vancouver. He is University Killam professor in the department of Medical Genetics at UBC and a Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Bruce Carleton, the co-principal investigator, is a CFRI senior clinician scientist, UBC professor of Pediatrics, and director of the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Programme (POPi) at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, agencies of PHSA.

Dr. Colin Ross, the study’s first author, is a research associate at the CMMT and in the UBC department of Medical Genetics.

For more information, visit http://www.cfri.ca/news/media/default.asp