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Brain Tumor Talk Ep. 2: Enhancing Brain Tumor Treatment with Clinical Trials with Guest Dr. Yoshie Umemura

“Standard of care just isn’t good enough, and that’s where clinical trials come in,” says Dr. Yoshie Umemura, chief medical officer of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center. 

Dr. Umemura joined the Brain Tumor Talk podcast to discuss brain tumor treatment – everything from standard of care and the different types of chemotherapies to unconventional therapies, such as clinical trials. In addition to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, she explains several options available to patients and how to navigate which route might be best for a patient’s unique needs. 

Developing a partnership with your doctor may be the most important step in a brain tumor treatment plan, Dr. Umemura says. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions and be able to rely on their doctor to explain the risks and benefits of each treatment. 

“Patients should feel like their doctor has done the homework for them,” she says. 

If traditional treatment isn’t the best option, clinical trials offer patients access to new therapies. As a clinical trials designer, Dr. Umemura hopes that one day each of her patients will have a clinical trial available to them. 

Discovering new, more effective treatments for her patients is what motivates Dr. Umemura in her work. Hear what led her to the neuro-oncology field and how she unwinds at the end of a long day.

In this Brain Tumor Treatment episode, you’ll learn:

  • Standard of care vs. unconventional treatment options
  • The ins and outs of clinical trials
  • The importance of protecting quality of life

What to listen for: 

2:32: What’s the difference between a general oncologist and a neuro-oncologist?
5:50: Dr. Umemura’s career path
8:30: Standard of care treatment for brain tumors
10:40: Chemotherapy options
15:49: Unconventional options for brain tumor treatment
21:15: Setting realistic goals
26:05: The costs of participating in a clinical trial
31:24: Asking the right treatment questions
33:20: What are early-phase clinical trials?
39:08: When there are no other treatment options
41:35: Promising new therapies
44:50: Staying positive while facing brain cancer
46:03: Rapid fire questions with Dr. Umemura

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