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New FDA-approved drug effectively targets prostate cancer cells, says acclaimed author and oncologist Dr. Mark Scholz

Mark Scholz

Drug attacks cancer while sparing normal cells

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, October 12, 2022 / -- A “novel new way” of treating prostate cancer lets patients live longer and increases their quality of life, all with fewer and less serious side effects than traditional radiation treatments, according to acclaimed author and oncologist Dr. Mark Scholz.

Pluvicto is a new type of radiopharmaceutical, a drug that contains a radioactive substance and is used to diagnose or treat disease, especially cancer. Approved earlier this year by the FDA and just this month for use in Canada, “Pluvicto is a very effective new type of radiation treatment for advanced prostate cancer,” explains Scholz, the medical director at Prostate Oncology Specialists in Marina del Rey, CA, and executive director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, also in California.

Manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, the drug “has a novel new way for transporting the radiation to the cancer through the blood stream,” says Scholz. “After injection into the blood, Pluvicto functions like a smart bomb seeking out prostate cancer cells wherever they may be located in the body. It works by attaching to a protein on the surface of prostate cancer cells called PSMA, bringing the radiation into direct contact with the cancer and killing it. Since it homes in directly on the cancer, the body’s normal tissues are spared from the most common radiation-related side effects,” he said.

Scholz points out that human salivary glands contain the PSMA protein and can be affected, resulting in dry mouth.

In the past, once all available treatments were exhausted, doctors could do little more to help patients. Not anymore.

“We have a new treatment that is brand new and available to our patients who had nothing else to receive when their disease was progressing,” according to a Canadian oncologist who has begun prescribing Pluvicto for his patients. “It will allow doctors, for the first time, to target and treat specific cancer cells,” he told the Canadian news agency Global News. “So instead of being a shotgun approach to treating cancer, it’s a missile directly to the prostate cancer cells.”

Pluvicto is now commercially available and covered by Medicare for men with prostate cancer no longer responding to mainstay hormonal medications, Scholz says. “In regards to its overall anticancer effectiveness, Pluvicto compares very favorably to traditional chemotherapy-type medications that are commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer.”

BIO: As a double board-certified medical specialist, Dr. Mark Scholz is the executive director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to patient education and research. He received his medical degree from Creighton University in Omaha, completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine, and subsequently his Medical Oncology fellowship at the University of Southern California Medical Center. The physician's society memberships include the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology, the American Urologic Associate, and the European Associate of Urology. Scholz works as a primary investigator, actively supervising a number of ongoing prostate cancer clinical trials and has authored and co-authored over 90 scholarly articles and abstracts in his area of expertise. He is a strong advocate for patient empowerment, being the co-author of the books “Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers: No More Unnecessary Biopsies, Radical Treatment or Loss of Potency” and “The Key to Prostate Cancer: 30 Experts Explain 15 Stages of Prostate Cancer.” Dr. Mark Scholz served as Oncology Director at the Memorial Campus of the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center from 1996 to 2001. He also has a bachelor of arts in biochemistry, which he earned from Occidental College. The physician has approximately 40 years of professional experience and is the recipient of the Most Compassionate Doctor award.

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