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The Best of the AACR Journals Collection: Author Profiles

photo of Yusuke Okuma

Yusuke Okuma

Title & Affiliation:
Staff Physician, Department of Thoracic Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital, Member of Section of Liaison for Cancer Genomic Medicine Hospitals, Center for Cancer Genomics and Advanced Therapeutics (C-CAT), National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan.

Most-cited Article:
The Gut Microbiome Associates with Immune Checkpoint Inhibition Outcomes in Patients with Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Q: What is your primary area of study/research?
A: Clinical trials for lung cancer and thymic malignancies, onco-microbiome, and big data platform in precision oncology.

Q: What influenced your decision to embark on a research career?
A: As a thoracic oncologist, taking care of many patients with metastatic diseases throughout my career, providing personalized medicine and immunotherapy to these patients is my utmost priority. To achieve that, I have come to realize that treatment optimization by way of translational research to clinical trials is a very important aspect that I'd like to dedicate my life to. To overcome challenges, we now need to take a global approach that ensures cooperation among collaborating countries to speed up development for cancer patients.

Q; What excites you most about your research area?
A: I am always excited about how my research impacts the oncology world, and how it can become useful in daily practice for future patients. I am grateful for the anonymous reviewers of my research, who help me improve my insight, colleagues from my institute, and outside collaborators. For this specific research, the supervision outside of my workplace, including collaborators Dr. Routy, Dr. Zitvogel, and all the colleagues who have provided support throughout the research to make impactful results. I am also dedicated to C-CAT, which is a big project to promote precision oncology in Japan. Through this project, I wish to bring more personalized medicine to as many patients as possible.

Q: What do you do for fun outside of work? What are your passions and hobbies?
A: Raising three young children (two sons and a daughter), keeps my wife, who is also a medical oncologist, and I busy at all times, making it such a fulfilling life for us. We are so grateful that our colleagues and workplace are understanding. We like to gather with family members who live in California and other places in Japan, as well as going on hot-spring vacations.


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