Zebrafish models for human cancer

H R Shive
Veterinary Pathology 2013, 50 (3): 468-82
For decades, the advancement of cancer research has relied on in vivo models for examining key processes in cancer pathogenesis, including neoplastic transformation, progression, and response to therapy. These studies, which have traditionally relied on rodent models, have engendered a vast body of scientific literature. Recently, experimental cancer researchers have embraced many new and alternative model systems, including the zebrafish (Danio rerio). The general benefits of the zebrafish model for laboratory investigation, such as cost, size, fecundity, and generation time, were quickly superseded by the discovery that zebrafish are amenable to a wide range of investigative techniques, many of which are difficult or impossible to perform in mammalian models. These advantages, coupled with the finding that many aspects of carcinogenesis are conserved in zebrafish as compared with humans, have firmly established a unique niche for the zebrafish model in comparative cancer research. This article introduces methods for generating cancer models in zebrafish and reviews a range of models that have been developed for specific cancer types.

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