A cure for Acute myleoid leukemia maybe in the making as researchers discover a molecule in avocados that combats this blood cancer by striking at the very root of the disease – leukemia stem cells. In fact, compounds derived from avocados can be used effectively to treat leukemia.
“The stem cells are largely responsible for AML and it is the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse,” said researcher Paul Spagnuolo, professor at University of Waterloo in Canada. “Not only does avocatin B eliminate the source of AML, but its targeted, selective effects make it less toxic to the body, too.”
The study appeared in the oncology journal Cancer Research. Through partnership with the Centre for Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) in Canada, Paul Spagnuolo has also filed a patent application for the use of the compound, named avocatin B, to treat AML.
“It is an exciting time for our lab. With the help of CCRM we are now pursuing commercial partnership that would take avocatin B into clinical trials.”
The results suggest that the new avocado-derived drug could significantly increase life expectancy and quality of life for AML patients. He added, “We have performed many rounds of testing to determine how this new drug works at a molecular level and confirmed that it targets stem cells selectively, leaving healthy cells unharmed,” Spagnuolo, who discovered the compound, said.