Building Bridges in Cancer Symptom Science Webinar Series

Building Bridges in Cancer Symptom Science Webinar Series banner

This series is aimed at bringing together interdisciplinary researchers in cancer symptom science to share their expertise and further discussions in the field.

Upcoming Seminar

In this webinar, Dr. Alberti will discuss methods for studying chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in preclinical studies and building collaborative translational teams. Dr. Smith will then address methods and techniques for assessing CIPN in clinical trials.

Date & Time: June 18, 2024 12:00 p.m. ET

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Paola Alberti, M.D., Ph.D.

Paola Alberti, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Human Anatomy
School of Medicine and Surgery
University of Milano-Bicocca
Faculty Links:
Personal page: – Paola Alberti – Ion Nerve Project

Dr. Paola Alberti, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Human Anatomy at University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

She is a preclinical and preclinical expert on Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity (CIPN). She is a consultant Neurologist at the IRCCS San Gerardo dei Tintori, in Monza, Italy, for outpatients affected by Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity (CIPN), and she is the PI in this Center for the INTERNATIONAL CHEMOTHERAPY-INDUCED NEUROTOXICITY (CIPN) ASSESSMENT AND VALIDATION STUDY (ICAVS, NCT04633655) which involves 30 Centers around the globe (US, Canada, South America, Africa, India, Australia). In the same Center, she is also PI of the CIPN COST (NCT04986891) study (, aiming at ascertaining socio-economic burden related to CIPN (awarded a 115,000 euros grant, by UNIMIB), and of the NEUPER (NCT05088681) study, aiming at ascertaining efficacy of physical treatment to reverse sensory ataxia due to polyneuropathy.

At a preclinical level she has developed a line of research that applies morpho-functional techniques to study axonal damage mechanisms, with particular attention to ion channel dysfunctions. In 2022 she received a personal grant of 250,000 euros from Fondazione Cariplo to carry out a 3-year preclinical project, entitled "Sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX) and ion channels: pivotal elements leading to axonal damage in peripheral nerves?", with the aim of investigating mechanisms of axonopathy with a translational approach (www.ionnerve).

She is currently a member of the board of the Italian Association of Peripheral Neuropathies (ASNP), vice chair of the junior committee of the Peripheral Nerve Society (PNS) and represented of this committee within the Toxic Neuropathy Consortium of PNS, chair of the neurological complication study group of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).

She is the author of 85 publications in international journals (H-index: 33 on Scopus)

Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N., AOCN®, FAAN

Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, Ph.D.

Professor and Marie O’Koren Endowed Chair
Assistant Dean of Research and Scholarship
Co-Director Cancer Prevention and Control T32 Training Program (T32CA047888: NCI)
Department of Acute, Chronic & Continuing Care
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing
Faculty Link:

Dr. Ellen M. Lavoie Smith is a Professor, Assistant Dean for Research and Scholarship, and the Marie O’Koren Endowed Chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing. Dr. Smith has lectured nationally and internationally regarding multiple cancer-related topics and has published 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Her research is well recognized as pioneering and pivotal in identifying interventions for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a life-altering complication of neurotoxic chemotherapy for which no known treatments have been discovered. She has received independent extramural research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and foundation and industry sponsors. Her research revealed duloxetine efficacy for painful CIPN (JAMA, 2013). As a result, duloxetine is remaining the only treatment for painful CIPN recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (JCO, 2020). Further, she has led multiple instrument development studies involving both adults and children with CIPN. She currently leads an NCI/R01-funded Phase II-III trial to test duloxetine to prevent CIPN through the Alliance NCI-funded Cooperative Group network. As recognition for her pioneering work, Dr. Smith has received numerous national awards including the 2018 Fellows of the National Institute of Nursing Research Welch/Woerner Path Paver Award.


Rachel Altshuler, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention

Sandy Eldridge, Ph.D.
Senior Principal Scientist
Toxicology and Pharmacology Branch
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis

Past Seminars

Fatigue in Pediatric Cancer Populations

In this webinar, Dr. Hinds reviews advances in the screening and evaluation of fatigue in children and adolescents/young adults during and following cancer treatment. Dr. Kadan-Lottick then addresses the factors that contribute to fatigue, summarize evidence-based approaches to its treatment, and highlight challenges in clinical management.

Date of presentation: Tuesday, March 26, 2024 | Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET


Pamela S. Hinds, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

Pamela S. Hinds, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

Interim Director
Center for Translational Research Director
Department of Nursing Science
Professional Practice and Quality Research Integrity Officer Children's National Hospital

Nina S. Kadan-Lottick, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Nina S. Kadan-Lottick, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Professor of Oncology and Pediatrics Director of Survivorship Research Initiative
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown University School of Medicine


Lessons Learned, Opportunities, and Challenges – A Personal Perspective

In this kick-off webinar, Dr. Patricia A. Ganz provides a keynote address on the state of symptom science research. The field of cancer symptom science comprises researchers and clinicians from both preclinical and clinical settings who are dedicated to the identification, mechanistic characterization, measurement, mitigation, and prevention of symptoms from cancer and its treatment. As an interdisciplinary field, researchers from traditionally disjointed areas must foster collaboration and unite their efforts to move science forward in a concerted and synergistic way.

Date of presentation: Tuesday, February 6, 2024 | Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET


Patricia A. Ganz, M.D.

Patricia A. Ganz, M.D.

Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and Medicine
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and David Geffen School of Medicine
UCLA-Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center


Rachel Altshuler, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention

Catherine Schweppe, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Gastrointestinal and Other Cancers Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention

Brennan P. Streck, Ph.D., R.N., M.P.H.
Program Officer
Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention


Contact Information

For event information, please contact Rachel Altshuler, Catherine Schweppe, or Brennan Streck.

If you are an individual with a disability who needs reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Joann Hernandez at least five business days before the event, so that we can discuss your accommodation request.

Last modified: April 10, 2024