A compound in avocados can be used to treat leukemia



Researchers from the University of Guelph (Canada) have discovered, in a study published in the journal ‘Blood’, that a compound in avocados can be used to treat leukemia, since it targets an essential enzyme in cell growth cancerous.

The work has focused on acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the deadliest form of leukemia that is usually diagnosed in those over 65 years of age and whose five-year survival is less than 10 percent.

“Leukemic cells have increased amounts of an enzyme called VLCAD involved in their metabolism. The cell depends on that pathway for survival. This is the first time that VLCAD has been identified as a target in any cancer,” the experts have said.

Previously, the researchers analyzed avocatin B, a fat molecule found only in avocados, for its potential use in preventing diabetes and controlling obesity. “VLCAD can be a good marker to identify patients suitable for this type of therapy. It can also be a marker to measure the activity of the drug. That sets the stage for the eventual use of this molecule in human clinical trials,” they emphasized.

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