dr james c wittig, orthopedic oncologist, new york, new jersey

John Theurer Cancer Center's Orthopedic Oncologist Presents Limb-Sparing Surgical Techniques At The 46Th Chilean Orthopedic And Trauma Society

HACKENSACK, N.J. (December 9, 2010) - James Wittig, M.D., chief of orthopedic surgical oncology and division chief of sarcoma at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center was invited to be an honorary guest lecturer at the 46th Chilean Orthopedic and Trauma Society held from November 17-20 in La Serena, Chile. The annual event, co-sponsored by the University of Chile and the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society of the Chilean Orthopedic and Trauma Society, explores innovative new approaches to treating musculoskeletal tumors.

Dr. Wittig delivered five different presentations detailing limb-sparing surgery and reconstruction for sarcomas and other musculoskeletal tumors including talks on radical resection of the scapula, humerus, tibia, femur, and limb sparing surgery for soft tissue sarcomas.

"The Chilean Society has long been a leader in international orthopedics and has hosted some of the best minds in this area of medicine over the past few decades," said Dr. Wittig. "It was an honor to share my expertise with such an elite group of international surgeons, particularly new surgical techniques in place of amputation."

During the conference, Dr. Wittig demonstrated how to separate large musculoskeletal tumors from important neurovascular structures and successfully remove the tumors. This surgical approach saves the extremity rather than conducting an amputation and reconstructing with segmental prosthetic tumor prostheses.

Marking a unique international collaboration, Dr. Wittig has begun working with Luis Bahamonde, MD, director of orthopedic surgery and chief of orthopedic oncology, University of Chile, to develop an orthopedic oncology course for the Chilean residents that will launch in 2012.

"The physicians and staff at the John Theurer Cancer Center are internationally renowned and play leadership roles in the fight against cancer," said Dr. Andrew Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., chief innovation officer and professor and vice president of cancer services, the John Theurer Cancer Center. "Dr. Wittig's participation in Chile illustrates the breadth of involvement from our staff."

Other notable presentations at the conference included resecting giant cell tumors of the distal radius and reconstruction of the wrist with free non-vascularized fibula transplant by Dr. Bahamonde.

"I was amazed to the healing and the ability of patients to maintain their wrist range of motion. Patients had virtually normal motion and cosmetic appearance," said Dr. Wittig. "Advancements in limb-sparing surgery for periacetabluar tumors, reconstruction of the hip joint, and extra-articular resection of malignant tumors in the presence of intra-articular contamination were also presented."

Dr. Wittig initiated ties with the Chilean community five years ago when he trained Rodolfo Zamora, MD, an orthopedic surgical resident from the University of Chile who extended his training in the United States. Dr. Zamora is now is one of the top surgeons in Chile and invited Dr. Wittig to participate in the international meeting in Chile.

About the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancer. The 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to the John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, the John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of after care services that distinguish the John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For more information please visit to jtcancercenter.org.

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