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ETSU doctors studying specific vitamin E form, use in cancer prevention

Staff Reports • Aug 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

An interdisciplinary research team that draws on faculty members from East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy is studying a specific form of vitamin E called tocotrienol that is derived from a bean found in the world’s tropical regions and may be effective in preventing cancer.

Dr. K. Krishnan and Dr. William Stone, professors with the Quillen College of Medicine, are heading up research on the potential of tocotrienol to be used in treatment and prevention of several types of cancer, including pancreatic, prostate and colon cancer. Tocotrienol is one of the many different compounds of vitamin E and is derived from the annatto bean, which grows in tropical and subtropical regions.

Krishnan is holder of the Paul Dishner Chair of Excellence in Medicine and Stone is a researcher in the ETSU Department of Pediatrics. Krishnan is chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the ETSU Department of Internal Medicine and practices hematology/oncology at the Regional Cancer Center.

The ETSU research team also includes Dr. Sharon Campbell, an assistant professor of biochemistry in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Victoria Palau, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, as well as medical residents and graduate students.

“There have been a number of studies on vitamin E, but most research doesn’t distinguish between the different forms of vitamin E, and our research at ETSU does distinguish between tocotrienols and other vitamin E compounds,” Stone said in a news release.

Tocotrienol is a form of the vitamin that is low in most diets and not usually found in most dietary supplements.

For information, call 439-4317 or visit www.etsu.edu.

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