Orthopaedic Oncology

The John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC is on the cutting edge of advancing orthpaedic oncology. James C. Wittig, M.D., chief of the Division of Skin and Sarcoma Cancer, is one of only a handful of orthopaedic oncologists in the tri-state area who is experienced in performing complicated limb-sparing surgeries and other orthopaedic cancer techniques, such as epineural analgesia, radiofrequency ablation, and cryosurgery. During a two-year fellowship in orthopaedic oncology at the Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C., he trained in vascular surgery and plastic surgery as well as his specialty. He can offer patients these additional skills and can perform an entire complicated limb-sparing surgery himself, without having to rely on additional plastic surgeons or vascular surgeons to assist him.
Primary orthopaedic cancers are rare. Dr. Wittig treats these tumors regularly, which makes him highly experienced and qualified to remove them and manage the patient's ongoing cancer care. At The Cancer Center, 95 percent of patients with orthopedic malignancies do not have to lose an arm or leg to cancer or a benign tumor if they undergo the limb-sparing surgery that Dr. Wittig excels in performing. He is also skilled in using induction (pre-surgical) chemotherapy to shrink tumors to make surgery less extensive and reduce the chance of recurrence; radiofrequency to destroy tumors using heat energy; cryosurgery to destroy tumors by freezing them; and epineural analgesia, which introduces pain medications into the surgical site after the tumor is removed to relieve post-operative pain.  Click here for a list of John Theurer Cancer Center Skin & Sarcoma clinical trials.
  • Medical Education: New York University School of Medicine
  • Internship: general surgery, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City
  • Residency: orthopedic surgery, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City
  • Fellowships: orthopedic oncology, Washington Cancer Institute, Washington Hospital Center, Children's National Medical Center, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C.; sarcoma consultant, Surgical Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
  • Board Certifications: orthopedic surgery
  • Specializations: soft tissue sarcomas; osteosarcomas; tumors of the joints, muscles, and connective tissue; benign bone tumors
  • Research Interests: orthopedic oncology
  • Major research includes:
    • clinical outcome studies following limb-sparing surgery for bone and soft tissue sarcomas and benign orthopedic tumors
    • radiofrequency ablation
    • cryosurgery
    • induction chemotherapy for high-grade soft tissue sarcomas including radiologic and pathologic changes
    • overexpression of protooncogenes and growth factor receptors by osteosarcomas and other bone and soft tissue sarcomas
    • epineural analgesia for post-operative pain control
  • Honors/Awards: the Orren D. Bush Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic Surgery from New York Orthopaedic Hospital; the Glover C. Arnold Surgical Award and the Lange Medical Publication Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Medical Student , both from NYU School of Medicine
  • Memberships: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Click here to learn more about Orthopaedic Oncology at the John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC. 




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