Potential use of n-3 PUFAs to prevent oxidative stress-derived ototoxicity caused by platinum-based chemotherapy

Ignacio A. Cortés Fuentes, Mauricio Burotto, Mauricio A. Retamal, Michael Frelinghuysen, Christian Caglevic, Juan G. Gormaz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Platinum-based compounds are widely used for the treatment of different malignancies due to their high effectiveness. Unfortunately, platinum-based treatment may lead to ototoxicity, an often-irreversible side effect without a known effective treatment and prevention plan. Platinum-based compound-related ototoxicity results mainly from the production of toxic levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) rather than DNA-adduct formation, which has led to test strategies based on direct ROS scavengers to ameliorate hearing loss. However, favorable clinical results have been associated with several complications, including potential interactions with chemotherapy efficacy. To understand the contribution of the different cytotoxic mechanisms of platinum analogues on malignant cells and auditory cells, the particular susceptibility and response of both kinds of cells to molecules that potentially interfere with these mechanisms, is fundamental to develop innovative strategies to prevent ototoxicity without affecting antineoplastic effects. The n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been tried in different clinical settings, including with cancer patients. Nevertheless, their use to decrease cisplatin-induced ototoxicity has not been explored to date. In this hypothesis paper, we address the mechanisms of platinum compounds-derived ototoxicity, focusing on the differences between the effects of these compounds in neoplastic versus auditory cells. We discuss the basis for a strategic use of n-3 PUFAs to potentially protect auditory cells from platinum-derived injury without affecting neoplastic cells and chemotherapy efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-276
Number of pages14
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT) grant number 11150999 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Antioxidants
  • Cisplatin
  • Hearing loss
  • Omega-3
  • Otoprotection
  • Ototoxicity
  • Platinum-analogue
  • n-3 PUFAs


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