In time, there could be a cancer drug made from avocado as Canadian scientists, hope to develop a new cancer-fighting drug using fat derived from the fruit.

This is after a new study, published in the journal Cancer Research, revealed fat from the creamy fruit can combat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a rare but deadly form of the disease.

According to the study, fat molecules from avocado tackle leukaemia stem cells, which are the root of the disease, as they grow into abnormal blood cells.

In light of the findings, the researchers hope to create an avocado-derived drug they say could one day significantly increase life expectancy and quality of life for AML patients.

Said Professor Paul Spagnuolo, from the University of Waterloo:

“The stem cell is really the cell that drives the disease. The stem cell is largely responsible for the disease developing and it’s the reason why so many patients with leukaemia relapse. We’ve 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. Not only does avocatin B eliminate the source of AML, but its targeted, selective effects make it less toxic to the body, too.”

Professor Spagnuolo has teamed up with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), in Toronto, and filed a patent application for the use of avocatin B to treat AML in preparation of a Phase I clinical trial.