Medical oncologist breaks ground through clinical trials

May 23, 2018

This piece is presented by Avera Health.

Dr. Jason Jones, a medical oncologist with Avera Medical Group Oncology & Hematology, is somewhat new to Sioux Falls, but he’s already breaking ground in his profession and getting to know a new hometown for him, his wife and his four daughters.

Jones and Dr. Amy Krie are the two medical oncologists at the Avera Cancer Institute dedicated to breast cancer care.

Jones participates in efforts to develop leading-edge approaches to breast cancer to help patients through clinical trials of new combinations of drugs or entirely new drugs. The Ohio native, whose past medical experiences include time at Mayo Clinic as well as the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, sees joining Avera Cancer Institute as a vibrant opportunity.

“I love the focus on patient-centered care, where every decision and every innovation we strive for directly benefits the patient,” Jones said. “The culture starts at the top and radiates through every member of our team. We’re unified in trying to provide the best care for every person who comes through the door and to tailor it to the needs of each individual.”

After completing his fellowship in Minnesota, Jones returned to Ohio and took on a growing leadership role. While he enjoyed successes in program development and growth, an opportunity became available at Avera that allowed for the chance to delve into research and precision medicine, continue program development and focus solely on breast cancer as a specialty — all in a welcoming city that was the right size for his family.

“We’re making strides that are making a difference. A good example is the new B59 trial, as it gives an additional treatment option for newly diagnosed patients who have triple-negative breast cancers,” he said. “This trial provides an alternative for patients who had fewer choices. It allows us to combine chemotherapy with immune-system boosting techniques. We enrolled the second patient in North America on this trial.”

A medical oncologist’s role is similar to the primary care physician for oncology. He may meet with a breast cancer patient to consider hormonal, medical and immune-system treatments. He coordinates his care with colleagues in surgery, radiation oncology and other disciplines as the patient’s situation dictates.

“Medical oncology is a rapidly growing field because there are many new drugs for cancer treatment, as well as many challenges that go with the rapid rate of change,” he said. “We have many excellent trials available for our patients, and I am excited about new trials and protocols that we will soon offer. Some of these studies are highly selective in site choice and may only be offered at a handful of centers across the country. So we can bring new treatments to the region that our patients may not have otherwise had the opportunity to receive.”

Jones appreciates the opportunity to coordinate care with a multidisciplinary team.

“In addition to providing leading-edge treatment options, Avera recognizes the necessary support services to provide top-notch patient care and service,” he said. “Without the dietitians, social workers, integrative medicine, the chaplains and financial aid teams, our work to provide the most effective therapies would not be possible.”

Jones recognizes his role in the Avera mission to treat each person with compassion, respect and dignity.

“When a patient comes to see me, I feel that I should provide care for them that I’d provide for my family. I see my role as an advocate for them. I’m someone in the patient’s corner who will fight for the best treatment options, address concerning symptoms and connect them with the right resources,” Jones said. “It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to care for patients. I want that to show through the care that my team and I provide.”


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Medical oncologist breaks ground through clinical trials

Dr. Jason Jones, a medical oncologist with Avera Medical Group Oncology & Hematology, is somewhat new to Sioux Falls, but he’s already breaking ground in his profession and getting to know a new hometown.

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