Jianhua Yu, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine and member of the OSUCCC &ndash; James Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program and A. Douglas Kinghorn, PhD, DSc, professor of Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy and member of the OSUCCC &ndash; James Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program were awarded a Pelotonia idea grant to study an innovative potential treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The researchers are investigating a compound from plants found in Asia that might offer a less toxic way of treating AML in older patients. &nbsp; 10,460 Americans are expected to die from AML in 2015. Most of the deaths will be people aged 65 and over, an group that has a survival rate of under 10 percent after five years. The low survival rate persists because older patients are less able to tolerate therapies such as intensive chemotherapy and stem-cell transplantation that are effective in younger patients. The OSUCCC &ndash; James researchers are studying a type of lignin compound called phyllanthusmin C (PL-C) derived from the Asian plant. The researchers have evidence suggesting that PL-C can improve antitumor activity in natural killer (NK) cells, the immune system&rsquo;s first line of defense against cancer cells and viral infections. The researchers are using their Pelotonia grant to investigate the mechanisms by which PL-C enhances NK-cell antitumor activity, and they are studying the effectiveness of PL-C in an animal model.&nbsp; They believe their study might open a new avenue for cancer prevention, and because PL-C can come from an edible plant, their findings could quickly lead to a clinical trial.