Final Examination for the Degree of MSc Food Science - SARAH WALKER

Date and Time


Teams meeting (Invitation sent to grad student & research staff listservs; faculty send request for invite to Kay Norwell)


Examining Committee

Dr. Don Mercer, Chair

Dr. Paul Spagnuolo, Advisor

Dr. Maria Corradini, Co-Advisor

Dr. Yoshinori Mine, Department Member

TITLE: Avocado-containing Diet for the Treatment and Prevention of Relapse of Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Mouse Models

ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a malignancy of myeloid lineage hematopoietic cells resulting in the uncontrolled proliferation of non-functioning blasts in the bone marrow. Common metabolic vulnerabilities in AML can exploited by novel dietary-based therapies. This thesis presents current research on the metabolic vulnerabilities of AML, introduces the avocado-derived bioactive avocation-B (AvoB), and provides evidence that an avocado diet can have an impact on AML kinetics in mouse models. Xenografted immunocompromised mice were used as models of AML and were fed either a control or avocado-containing diet. AML progression and relapse post-cytarabine (AraC) was tracked using multiple femur bone marrow aspirates in live mice. The avocado-based diet was able to delay relapse post-cytarabine, slowing AML growth and reducing leukemic burden in femurs at endpoint. This study demonstrates that diet can be used in conjunction with standard therapy to treat AML and opens the way for further dietary oncology research.

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