From control of diabetes to developing healthy, glowing skin, avocados have been long known for their health benefits. Now a study claims that a compound in avocados can help combat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a common form of blood cancer.

A team of researchers, headed by Professor Paul Spagnuolo, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, has created a compound called Avocatin B. The researchers believe the avocado-based compound can help treat AML. This property of the compound is being reported for the first time.

“The stem cells are largely responsible for AML and it is the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse. We have 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,” Spagnuolo said in a statement.

During the research, the team found that Avocatin B destroyed the source cells of AML. The researchers believe that this property of the compound can aid in the treatment of blood cancer. Therefore, the team plans to begin a clinical trial of the compound to see if it can help cure leukemia. Reportedly, the team has already recruited several patients for the trial.

The researchers also found that the compound targets the source of blood cancer to make it less harmful to the body.

Medical News Today reports that nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. are expected to die due to AML this year. Further, more than 20,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with AML this year.

The complete study has been published in the journal Cancer Research.