Pain, Fatigue and Obesity: Managing Chronic Complications while on Therapy and Beyond


Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, PhD, APRN, AOCN, FAAN
Associate Professor
Director PhD Program
University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbour, MI

Ellen Lavoie Smith is an Associate Professor and PhD Program Director at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Dr. Smith’s program of research is focused on finding new ways to predict, assess, and treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and associated neuropathic pain. She has received independent research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Oncology Nursing Society, the American Cancer Society, Genentech, and Lilly Pharmaceuticals. She is the principal or coinvestigator for five studies that will advance scientific knowledge related to CIPN. These studies include a NIH/NCI-funded R03 study designed to test and refine a patient-reported CIPN outcome measure, and an industry-sponsored (Genentech) study that is designed to test whether the Carevive® web-based care planning platform can be used to improve patient engagement in CIPN and pain assessment and self management. Past research activities focused on evaluating the psychometric properties of several CIPN and pain measurement approaches for use in adults and children. Her most significant research role to date was as the principal investigator for a NIH/NCI-funded, multi-site cooperative group randomized placebo-controlled trial of duloxetine for painful CIPN, the results of which were reported in JAMA (2013).

Steven D. Mittelman, MD, PhD
Director, Diabetes & Obesity Program Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology & Biophysics MD/PhD Program
Director, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Steven Mittelman received his MD/PhD from the Keck School of Medicine, where he investigated the physiology of glucose regulation in obesity and diabetes. He completed his residency in pediatrics, and fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Mittelman’s research focuses on the relationships between obesity and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His lab investigates the various mechanisms whereby fat tissue protects leukemia cells and makes them better able to resist chemotherapy. In addition, Dr. Mittelman is studying how body weight and other nutritional factors like vitamin D might impact patients with leukemia both before and after treatment. His bench and clinical research have led to a clinical intervention aimed at assessing whether healthy diet and activity during leukemia treatment could improve outcome in children. When not in the lab, Dr. Mittelman sees patients in the CHLA EMPOWER Weight Management Clinic, which he helped launch. In addition, Dr. Mittelman founded The CHLA Diabetes and Obesity Program in response to the huge burden that childhood obesity places on our patients and our community. Dr. Mittelman is the Director of the Keck School of Medicine/Caltech Combined MD/PhD Program, and the Founding Director of the CHLA Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists.

Sue Zupanec, MN, NP
Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner, Leukemia and Lymphoma Program The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Sue completed her Master’s of Nursing with Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate in April 2003. Since completing her Masters, Sue has worked as a Nurse Practitioner within the Leukemia/Lymphoma section at The Hospital for Sick Children. In the fall of 2015, Sue joined the Children’s Oncology Group COG) Nursing Steering Committee and holds the position of COG Nursing Education Chair. Sue is also one of the assigned nurses within the core COG nursing group for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and serves as the study nurse for the current Phase 3 trial AALL1331. AALL1331 aims to study if the addition of Blinatumomab will improve event-free survival for patients who have a first relapse of B lineage ALL.

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