The Kast Lab Awarded Prostate Cancer Grant from the Department of Defense

We are excited to announce that The Kast Lab has been awarded a 3-year, $618,000.00 grant from the United States Department of Defense.


Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in men, with approximately 32,000 deaths expected annually in the United States and 258,000 deaths expected annually worldwide (1).
Fusion Protein

PyMOL rendering of fusion protein

The grant itself focuses on investigating a highly innovative method of treating prostate cancer at both early and late stages of disease. In a collaborative effort with Dr. Parkash Gill, the Kast lab intends investigate the effects of a bi-specific fusion protein on its ability to target prostate cancer cells at any site in the body, while at the same time recruiting T cells that can kill these prostate cancer cells.


“I am thrilled that we are bringing together not only two prominent laboratories, but also creating a new collaboration between two distinct Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center programs; the Tumor Microenvironment Program and the Translational and Clinical Sciences Program.” – Dr. W Martin Kast

While treatments for primary prostate cancer patients exist, many lead to devastating side effects such as impotence or incontinence and there are limited options for patients with advanced disease (2,3). Thus, there is an obvious need for new therapies and immunotherapy has been proposed as a possible solution. We are excited to begin this down this new avenue of research!

  1. Ferlay, J., H. R. Shin, F. Bray, D. Forman, C. Mathers, and D. M. Parkin. 2010. Estimates of worldwide burden of cancer in 2008: GLOBOCAN 2008. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer 127:2893-2917.
  2. Sivarajan, G., V. Prabhu, G. B. Taksler, J. Laze, and H. L. Lepor. 2013. Ten-year Outcomes of Sexual Function After Radical Prostatectomy: Results of a Prospective Longitudinal Study. European urology.
  3. Ratcliff, C. G., L. Cohen, C. A. Pettaway, and P. A. Parker. 2013. Treatment regret and quality of life following radical prostatectomy. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.