Surgical Oncology

Get to Know Dr. Joseph Skitzki

Surgical oncologist Dr. Joseph Skitzki believes patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma can benefit immensely from the combination treatment of cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion.

As a specialist, he delivers this treatment regularly at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“The results are quite impressive,” Skitzki said. “About 80% of patients who are eligible for the treatment will be alive at five years, and about half of that number without any further evidence of disease.”

The combination involves aggressive cytoreductive surgery that removes all visible cancer, then washing the abdominal cavity with heated chemotherapy, a procedure also known as HIPEC, to kill any microscopic tumor cells that evaded the surgeon.

“We’ve been doing CS/HIPEC at Roswell Park since 2002, so our team is very well versed in the procedure,” he said. “We have good pathways established in terms of how patients are going to do, and how they recover.”

In addition to mesothelioma, the treatment regimen is also used with ovarian, appendix and colon cancers.

Skitzki joined Roswell Park in 2009 as an associate professor of oncology, joining an already experienced team. He focuses much of his research today on immunotherapies for melanoma and sarcoma.

Specialties of Dr. Joseph Skitzki

  • Sarcoma
  • Melanoma
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal surface malignancies
  • Colon cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Surgical oncology

Dr. Joseph Skitzki’s Experience and Medical Education

  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer
  • University of Michigan Medical Center (Fellowship)
  • Case Western Reserve (Residency)
  • Penn State University College of Medicine (M.D.)

Awards and Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery
  • National Board of Medical Examiners
  • Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Plenary Speaker, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Faculty Research Recognition Award
  • Golden Apple Award

Publications of Dr. Joseph Skitzki

  • Swetter, S. et al. (2021, April 1). NCCN Guidelines Insights: Melanoma: Cutaneous, Version 2.2021. Practice Guideline.
  • Schuitevoerder, D. et al. (2020, June). The Chicago Consensus on Peritoneal Surface Malignancies: Management of Appendiceal Neoplasms. Annals of Surgical Oncology.
  • Joyce, D. & Skitzki, J. (2020, February). Surgical Management of Primary Cutaneous Melanoma. The Surgical Clinics of North America.
  • Mitsis, D. et al. (2016, September 14). Current Immunotherapies for Sarcoma: Clinical Trials and Rationale. Sarcoma.
  • Skitzki, J. et al. (2009, June). Hyperthermia as an immunotherapy strategy for cancer. Current Opinion in Investigational Drug.