Orthopedic Oncology Program Expands at Hackensack University Medical Center

Valdis M. Lelkes, M.D., joins Francis R. Patterson, M.D., to expand the Orthopedic Oncology program at John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center

In August 2020, Hackensack University Medical Center expanded its orthopedic oncology program with the addition of fellowship-trained orthopedic oncologist Valdis M. Lelkes, M.D.

Orthopedic Oncology

Dr. Lelkes is a native of New Jersey and works in partnership with Francis R. Patterson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center and Chief of the Skin and Sarcoma Division at John Theurer Cancer Center. Dr. Patterson has more than 22 years of expertise in pediatric and adult benign and malignant bone and soft-tissue tumors of the musculoskeletal system, metastatic bone disease, allograft and endoprosthetic reconstructions and limb-preserving surgery, including complex limb salvage after failed joint reconstruction surgeries or trauma. Dr. Patterson also conducts orthopedic oncology research assessing new reconstruction options and soft-tissue sarcoma treatments and studying the complications of these cancers and their treatment. The division is participating in the combined orthopedic oncology fellowship between Rutgers and Hackensack University Medical Center, training new orthopedic oncology fellows for the future.

Prior to joining Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Lelkes completed his orthopedic oncology fellowship at the esteemed Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. He offers expertise in benign and malignant soft tissue and bone tumors of the extremities, trunk and chest wall. Dr. Lelkes treats both pediatric and adult patients and has surgical training in allograft and endoprosthetic reconstructions, custom implants, limb salvage surgery, and rotationplasty. He also cares for patients with metastatic bone disease and those needing complex limb salvage procedures after failed joint reconstruction surgeries or trauma. Dr. Lelkes adds extensive experience in research with numerous national and international presentations.

The physicians practice alongside the sarcoma care team at John Theurer Cancer Center, which includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurses, social workers, palliative medicine specialists, physical therapists and others. The team customizes care plans for patients facing bone sarcomas of every grade and type, including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and all soft tissue sarcomas.

Complex limb salvage operations are always performed when oncologically possible with the goal of preserving maximal function and cosmetic appearance. Precision medicine analyzing the genomics of each patient’s tumor matches patients with the most effective anticancer agents for each type of sarcoma. Patients also have access to clinical trials of new anticancer drugs, novel immunotherapies, and innovative treatment combinations—including early-phase trials.

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