Juha Kononen

Oncology

Chief Clinical Director, Personalized Oncology
Specialist in Medical Oncology, M.D., Ph.D.

Specialization

All cancer types, especially breast cancer, lung cancer and intestine cancer, melanoma, rare tumor types.
Chemotherapy.

Services

Clinical drug trials, radiotherapy, analysing of gene profiling results.

Languages

Finnish, English

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Education

MD, PhD, oncologist Juha Kononen is the Chief Physician of Cancer Treatment of this Finnish private cancer hospital. As the Chief Clinical Director, Kononen is responsible for the clinical operations of the hospital and, administratively, the physicians and physicists at the hospital. He also actively takes part in patient work and runs his practice in the hospital.

 To Kononen, the best possible treatment of cancer means, first and foremost, individuality. Individuality means that he can provide each patient with the best possible treatment for them at the right time.

At Docrates, information about cancer genes can also be utilised. By examining the genes of a tumour, it is possible to determine which medication is suitable for the specific type of cancer the patient has. Conversely, with the molecular profiling of the tumour, it is possible to avoid the modes of treatment that are not likely to help or even cause adverse effects.

Kononen’s role at Docrates is to study and analyse what is happening in science and to introduce new methods and forms of pharmacotherapy in an agile way so that cancer treatment can be even more individualised.

The role of connecting the world of science and clinical environments comes naturally to Kononen. After graduating, he worked for 14 years as a researcher in the United States and Switzerland. He has always had an inherent interest in researching and developing various things.

While working at the National Human Genome Research Institute in the United States, Kononen developed a method that revolutionised how tissue samples are analysed. Instead of taking a single sample, this method made it possible to analyse a thousand samples. The method became a huge success and it is still applied in various pathology laboratories around the world. The method developed by Kononen also advanced the research conducted on the genetics of cancer.

In patient work, Chief Physician of Cancer Treatment Kononen emphasises a good care relationship, empathy and treating patients as individuals. He wants to consider what is really important in each situation and what could be helpful. It is important to remember that people rarely share the same priorities, resources and capabilities. Kononen wants to understand everyone’s own personal situation and provide help accordingly.

“Cancer is something that concerns us all and it remains a major unsolved problem. The only way to advance is to gain an understanding of how cancers develop and change. The key to this is in genetics. Whenever I face demanding cases and cancers that cannot be cured, research is my psychological coping mechanism that keeps me going. For me, it is important to be able to think that tomorrow will be brighter,” says Juha Kononen, MD, PhD, Chief Physician of Cancer Treatment at Docrates Cancer Center.

  • Ph.D., Tampere University 1996
  • M.D., Tampere University 1994

Work history

  • Docrates Cancer Center, Chief Physician (Personalized Oncology) 2019-
  • Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Head of Department, Oncology 2016-2019
  • Tampere University Hospital, Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Oncologist 2011-2015
  • Research and product development within biomedical technologies (genome research), 2000-2008
  • Basel, Switzerland, Preclinical cancer drug trial research, Research Group Leader 2000-2003
  • NHGRI, NIH, Bethesda, USA, Cancer genomics research, Research Group Leader 1999-2000

Scientific activities

Inventing tissue micro array method.
Kononen's research work have vast citations in international scientific publications. He has published more than 80 articles about cancer research which have been cited more than 25,000 times in the medical literature (H-index 53).

1. Kononen J, Bubendorf L, Kallioniemi A, Barlund M, Schraml P, Leighton S, Torhorst J, Mihatsch MJ, Sauter G and Kallioniemi O-P. Tissue microarrays for high-throughput molecular profiling of hundreds of cancer specimens (1998) Nature Medicine. 4:844-847.
2. Anzick S, Kononen J, Walker RL, Tanner MM, Guan X-Y, Sauter G, Kallioniemi O-P, Trent JM and Meltzer PS. AIB1, a steroid receptor co-activator amplified in breast and ovarian cancer. (1997) Science 277:965-968.
3. Hedenfalk, Duggan D, Chen Y, Radmacher M, Bittner M, Simon R, Meltzer P, Gusterson B, Esteller M, Kallioniemi OP, Wilfond B, Raffeld M, Ben-Dor A, Dougherty E, Kononen J, Bubendorf L, Wilfrid F, Pittaluga S, Gruvberger S, Loman N, Johannson O, Olsson H, Sauter G, Borg A, Trent J. Gene-Expression Profiles in Hereditary Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. (2001) 344:539-548.
4. Kelly AD, Wiklund T, Kononen J, Creeden J. STRN-ALK fusion-positive case of breast cancer with response to alectinib (2021) JCO Precis Oncol 2021 Aug 11;5:PO.21.00142. doi: 10.1200/PO.21.00142.
5. Choueiri et al and KEYNOTE-564 investigators. Adjuvant pembrolizumab after nephrectomy in renal cell carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 19;385(8):683-694. doi:0.1056/NEJMoa2106391.