Avocados aren’t simply a delicious fruit, but they may also contain a key to fighting leukemia.

According to a study published in the journal of Cancer Research, molecules derived from avocados have been found to target the stem cells of acute myeloid leukemia.

Acute myeloid leukemia is an aggressive form of cancer that kills 90% of people over the age of 65 who are diagnosed. Drugs that operate on stem cells are the most effective in treating the disease. 

The lipid found in avocado joins just a handful of drug treatments available that attacks leukemia stem cells directly while leaving behind unharmed healthy cells.

The stem cell is the driving force of the disease. The stem cell is largely responsible for the disease developing and it’s reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse.

Although the drug is still a few year away from being approved for market use, researchers are already preparing it for a Phase I clinical trial.

In comparison with the current treatment regimens, researchers identified avocation B, a lipid derived from avocado fruit, as a novel compound with cytotoxic activity in acute myeloid leukemia. Avocatin B reduced human primary acute myeloid leukemia cell viability without having an effect on normal peripheral blood stem cells.

Functional stem cell assays demonstrated selectivity toward acute myeloid leukemia progenitor and stem cells without effects on normal hematopoietic stem cells.

Researchers are hopeful that this discovery will help advance treatment regimens.



Gerry Oginski
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