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Surgeons at the UPMC Central PA Surgical Oncology Center Perform the Region’s First Robotic Whipple


December 4, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The latest, most advanced robotic surgery for pancreatic cancer is now available to patients at the newly opened UPMC Central PA Surgical Oncology Center. Strengthening its surgical oncology services in the Harrisburg region, UPMC recently opened the Surgical Oncology Center on Technology Parkway in Mechanicsburg and successfully recruited two highly skilled surgical oncologists.

Kyo Chu, M.D., director of Surgical Oncology for UPMC in Central Pa, is joined by Samer AlMasri, M.D., in offering expert surgical oncology options for patients within the Mechanicsburg area at the new Surgical Oncology Center, the first of its kind for UPMC in Central Pa.

Just last month, AlMasri led the region’s first robotic-assisted Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer with assistance from Chu and Amer Zureikat, M.D., vice chair of surgery for surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery at UPMC, chief of Surgical Oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, and UPMC chair of Clinical Surgery. The patient, a 55-year-old woman with ampullary adenocarcinoma is recovering well at home.

UPMC is among the world's largest and most comprehensive centers for robotic surgery offered at more than 20 UPMC hospitals in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York and now in the central Pennsylvania region. UPMC surgical oncologists, including Zureikat, helped to pioneer the robotic Whipple and have performed more robotic Whipple procedures than any other institution in the country. Robotic technology allows surgeons to perform complex surgery with more precision than conventional methods, to improve recovery, reduce pain, and improve visualization during surgery. Chu and AlMasri have had extensive training in minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery that will offer UPMC oncology patients added treatment and recovery benefits, all close to home.

“UPMC Hillman Cancer Center has been expanding services in central Pennsylvania for over five years, and adding surgical oncology services will help broaden and amplify patient care,” said Adam Dimm, vice president UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Central Pa. “We look forward to seeing Dr. Chu and Dr. AlMasri provide exceptional surgical care for our region’s oncology patients.”

Chu received his medical degree and completed his residency in general surgery from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas. His fellowship in surgical oncology was completed at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, Calif. Chu is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and brings over 20 years of experience to the department.

AlMasri received his medical degree and completed his residency in general surgery at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. His fellowship in surgical oncology and complex general surgical oncology was completed at UPMC in Pittsburgh. AlMasri is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association and American Society of Clinical Oncology.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Chu or Dr. AlMasri, call 717-988-8451.

To learn more about surgery and cancer care in central Pennsylvania, visit

Samer AlMasri, MD

Samer AlMasri, M.D.

Kyo Chu, MD

Kyo Chu, M.D., director of Surgical Oncology for UPMC in Central Pa.

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