James C. Wittig, M.D., an orthopedic oncologist and chief of the Division of Sarcoma and Skin Cancer at The Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, was unanimously named the 2007 Teacher of the Year by graduating residents in the orthopedic surgery program at the NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases. Dr. Wittig, who is an assistant professor of orthopedic oncology at the NYU School of Medicine, was chosen over 120 other orthopedic surgeons.
"Dr. Wittig's teaching acumen and skills are well-recognized, not only by his residents at NYU but also by all those at The Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center who collaborate with him in the care of our patients with orthopedic cancers and other bone tumors," says Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., chairman and executive administrative director of The Cancer Center. " Dr. Wittig continues to advance the knowledge and treatment of orthopedic cancers every day." At The Cancer Center, Dr. Wittig heads the orthopedic oncology team in pioneering innovative techniques in a variety of surgical methods to treat orthopedic tumors and to control pain. These techniques include: limb-sparing surgery, which saves arms and legs from amputation; radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat energy to destroy tumors; cryosurgery, which uses extreme cold temperatures to eradicate tumors; pre-operative chemotherapy, which makes surgery less extensive and reduces the chance of recurrence of the cancer; and epineural analgesia to provide post-operative pain relief directly to the surgical site.
Dr. Wittig is also skilled in the subspecialty of treating shoulder tumors and has published extensively on the surgical treatment of shoulder girdle tumors. Board-certified in orthopedic oncology, he also completed fellowship training in vascular surgery and plastic surgery so that he can perform all aspects of limb-sparing surgery. His research involves limb-sparing surgery for bone and soft tissue sarcomas and other benign orthopedic tumors, overexpression of protooncogenes and growth factor receptors by osteosarcoma and other bone and soft tissue sarcomas, induction chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcomas, cryosurgery, and epineural analgesia. His research has been published in medical journals and presented at annual meetings of various associations of orthopedic surgery, oncology, endocrinology, and cell biology. Dr. Wittig received his medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine. He completed an internship in general surgery at St. Lukeâ€™s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and a residency (chief resident) in orthopedic surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, both in New York City. He completed a two-year fellowship in orthopedic oncology at Washington Cancer Institute, Washington, D.C., and was a sarcoma consultant at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. The Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jerseyâ€™s largest and the one ranked the best cancer center in the state by New York magazine. The Cancer Center focuses on transforming cancer care by offering multidisciplinary care, personalized treatment, innovative research, superior outcomes, and patient satisfaction within 14 disease-specific, treatment, or research divisions. For more information about The Cancer Center, call 201-996-5900 or visit www.humc.com.