Most forms of ototoxicity ultimately result from the generation of free radicals in the affected portions of the inner ear. A considerable amount of basic science literature has accumulated investigating the systemic and transtympanic (through the middle ear) administration of agents that counteract free radical formation. A variety of promising candidates have been identified. Thus, within the coming years, it is reasonable to anticipate the development of an agent or agents that will be administered prophylactically to patients at risk for ototoxic reactions (e.g., patients undergoing chemotherapy with cisplatin).
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