Source Newsroom: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Gary G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH., PhD.
Associate Professor, Cancer Biology
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Schwartz is a nationally recognized prostate cancer expert whose principal research interest involves epidemiologic and translational studies (studies of screening and therapeutic trials) concerning the roles of vitamin D and other calciotrophic hormones in the natural history of prostate cancer. His other interests include the investigation of cancers of unknown etiology, e.g., testicular and pancreatic cancer. Schwartz' research has led to new understanding of the roles of calcium and vitamin D in the etiology of prostate cancer. Some of his recent research has shown that some elevations in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in men may be caused by a hormone normally occurring in the body (parathyroid hormone) and thus are not necessarily a predictor of the need for prostate biopsy. In 1990, Schwartz first proposed a link between vitamin D deficiency and prostate cancer when he noticed that the people most likely to die from prostate cancer were African Americans, followed by Scandinavians. People living in northern latitudes, where the angle of the sun is insufficient to generate vitamin D through the skin, are commonly vitamin D deficient, as are blacks. He is the author or co-author of more than 80 journal articles and book chapters and holds two patents on methods for screening for risk of pancreatic cancer and for predicting the risk of fatal prostate cancer. Dr. Schwartz has research support from the NCI, American Cancer Society, Lance Armstrong Foundation and other sources.