Heather E. Wheeler Discusses Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss

July 20, 2016
Heather E. Wheeler, PhD

Heather E. Wheeler, assistant professor of Biology and Computer Science at Loyola University Chicago, discusses genetic factors that may lead to hearing loss in patients with testicular cancer who are on cisplatin.

Heather E. Wheeler, assistant professor of Biology and Computer Science at Loyola University Chicago, discusses genetic factors that may lead to hearing loss in patients with testicular cancer who are on cisplatin.

Wheeler compared patients' genomes with level of hearing loss and found that those with a mutation in the WFS1 gene had an increased tendency to lose hearing to some degree. Interestingly, mutations in that gene also cause Wolfram Syndrome, which shows itself in many ways, including deafness. Now that there is a genetic correlation helping to explain cisplatin-induced hearing loss, Wheeler hopes that ways to prevent the malady can be developed.