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Made in the ArkLaMiss: Home grown cancer treatment

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MONROE, LA. (KNOE 8 News) - This next scientific innovation may look like maple syrup.

But it's an oil that could help cure cancer, tocotreinol, natural Vitamin E found in rice bran oil and plenty of rice is grown in the ArkLaMiss.

"We grow a lot of rice," Dr. Paul Sylvester with the ULM College of Pharmacy said. "Louisiana's the third largest rice-grower in the United States."

At the ULM College of Pharmacy, Sylvester is just one of the researchers who's been working on this project for many years.

KNOE 8 News has reported on this project before but it has taken a new leap this past October, receiving a patent from the federal government.

But patents can't go to natural vitamins and by itself, tocotreinol can't get the job done in the body because it's like thick syrup in water.

"It's a fat," Sylvester said. "The problem is there's just limits on how much you can absorb and how much you can transport in the blood."

These scientists got their patent for the changes they're making to the tocotreinol, making it more soluble and more potent.

If it works, the new compound can come in pill and injection form, helping shut down the pathways cancer takes to spread across the body.

"Prostate cancer, breast cancer, tocotreinols are very effective at shutting down those pathways and killing those cancers," said Sylvester.

Sylvester says the compound could also be a less toxic alternative to chemotherapy.

The patent helps scientists move on to the next step, enlisting the help of local farmers to grow the tocotreinol so they can make the cure.

But we're still a ways off from clinical trials.

"Probably two years, maybe three years," Sylvester said.

This new tocotreinol oil is a chance to cut cancer down and it's made in the ArkLaMiss.

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