Dr. Leonard Rybak, of the SIU Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and a SIUC distinguished scholar, recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study effective chemical therapies to help prevent certain cancer drugs, particularly Cisplatin, from causing hearing loss.
Cisplatin can cause damage to the inner ear, resulting in permanent hearing loss in many patients. For Dr. Rybak, the challenge has been finding therapies that will work in conjunction with Cisplatin to help prevent hearing loss and other negative effects, such as kidney disease, but not interfere with its overall effectiveness.
While several chemicals are being evaluated in the study, the leading option is capsaicin, a component of hot chili peppers. Dr. Rybak will analyze the most effective ratio of capsaicin and Cisplatin to determine the best possible results for patients.
The findings of this study could ultimately lead to the development of a cancer treatment with fewer negative side effects.
To learn more about hearing loss and its development, click here.
Last updated: October 14, 2014