Rich, creamy, nutritious, and now cancer-fighting.
Recent research found that molecules derived from avocados could be effective in treating a form of cancer.
In a study from the University of Waterloo, scientists have discovered a lipid in avocados that combats acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by targeting the root of the disease — leukemia stem cells.
Worldwide, there are few drug treatments available to patients that target leukemia stem cells.
AML is a devastating disease and proves fatal within five years for 90%of seniors over age 65.
The new avocado-derived drug could one day strongly increase life expectancy and quality of life for AML patients.
The researchers say that stem cell is largely responsible for disease development and it’s the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse.
The team has performed many rounds of testing to determine how this new drug works at a molecular level and has confirmed that it targets stem cells selectively, leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Not only does avocatin B eliminate the source of AML, but its targeted, selective effects make it less toxic to the body, too.
The team has filed a patent application for the use of the compound, named avocation B, to treat AML.
The drug is still years away from becoming approved for use in oncology clinics, but the team is already performing experiments to prepare the drug for a Phase I clinical trial.
This is the first round of trials where people diagnosed with AML could have access to the drug.
There are multiple potential applications for Avocatin B beyond oncology, and the drug is just one of several promising compounds that the team has discovered.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies that avocados can support a heart-healthy diet, and ultra-processed food is linked to a higher death risk in middle-aged people.
For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about diet soda drinkers had lower colon cancer death risk, and results showing a high-fiber diet may help you live longer.
The study was published in Cancer Research and conducted by Professor Paul Spagnuolo.
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