Update on the relationship between nervous system tumors and hearing loss

Update on the relationship between nervous system tumors and hearing loss

The Neuropathology of Hearing and Myelinopathies research group at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Sols-Morreale (IIBM), CSIC-UAM, led by Prof. Isabel Varela-Nieto, publishes a review that updates the relationship between tumors of the nervous system and hearing loss

Although it is not very common, certain tumors of the nervous system in the cranial cavity (schwannomas, meningiomas or gliomas, among others) can lead to hearing loss. This can occur due to compression of the auditory pathway; also because of paracrine effects of the tumor or by the effects derived from its treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Among them, the most frequent are vestibular schwannomas, which due to their low prevalence in the population are considered a rare disease. These tumors arise from Schwann cells of the vestibulocochlear nerve and are mainly caused by loss of NF2 function.

For several years, Prof. Varela-Nieto's group has been working closely with the Otorhinolaryngology Service of the Hospital La Paz (Madrid) in the study of these rare tumors, using established cell lines that are models of the disease together with primary cultures generated from samples donated by patients. In this context, two doctoral theses are in progress. One of them explores the genetic and molecular basis of vestibular schwannoma and its relationship with the clinical phenotype of the tumor (aggressiveness, growth, recurrences). The second study aims to characterize senescence as a key cellular process in schwannomas, as well as a potential therapeutic target.

In this work, recently published in the journal Hearing Research, participate Drs. Isabel Varela-Nieto and Silvia Murillo-Cuesta (Neuropathology of Hearing, IIBM and CIBERER), Luis Lassaletta and Carmen Ruiz (Hospital La Paz) and Pilar López-Larrubia (Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, IIBM). The paper reviews the different types of central nervous system tumors that may cause hearing loss and discusses the molecular basis, epidemiology and clinic of vestibular schwannomas, including the animal models available for their study.

Ruiz-García C, Lassaletta L, López-Larrubia P, Varela-Nieto I, Murillo-Cuesta S. Tumors of the nervous system and hearing loss: Beyond vestibular schwannomas. Hear Res. 2024 Apr 21;447:109012. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2024.109012