A series of key avocado compounds could treat leukemia, recent research has shown, by directly targeting the root of the blood cell cancer.
According to a Monday press release by the University of Waterloo, their school of pharmacology has made a massive breakthrough in their blood cancer research.
A team of researchers from Waterloo University, led by Prof. Paul Spanguolo, has been investigating the properties of avocado. They concluded that a specific lipid found in the green fruit may not only target but also treat damaged stem cells involved in the malignant process.
Consequently, a new medication derived from the avocado plant could be administered to acute myeloid leukemia patients. Such a compound, Spagnuolo and his team explain, would contribute to life expectancy increases as well as better quality of lives for acute myeloid leukemia sufferers
“The stem cells are largely responsible for AML and it is the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse,” he said.
The team has methodically tested the avocado lipid’s properties by conducting tests which determine precisely how such a drug would act on a molecular levels. These tests proved that stem cells involved in blood cell malignancies are specifically and selectively targeted by the avocado compound.
Moreover, such a drug would leave healthy cells unharmed, further boosting a patient’s recovery chances.
Current treatment options for leukemia patients include chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplant, however such treatments often leave patients weak and with virtually no quality of life.
The team has an ongoing partnership with the Canadian Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. They filed a patent application to use the avocado-derived compound to treat AML. Spanguolo and his team are ready to commence clinical testing for the avocado-derived drug and hope to obtain results as promising as the current data has been.
The Waterloo University research team’s findings were published in the scientific journal “Cancer Research”.
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