Emergence of zebrafish models in oncology for validating novel anticancer drug targets and nanomaterials

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This article reviews recent advances on the potential applications of transparent zebrafish embryo and adult zebrafish models in molecular oncology to investigate the specific functions of gene products and molecular pathways altered in cancer cells during the disease progression in addition to a xenotransplantation system to validate novel anticarcinogenic drugs.

The in vivo zebrafish models have recently attracted great attention in molecular oncology to investigate multiple genetic alterations associated with the development of human cancers and validate novel anticancer drug targets. Particularly, the transparent zebrafish models can be used as a xenotransplantation system to rapidly assess the tumorigenicity and metastatic behavior of cancer stem and/or progenitor cells and their progenies. Moreover, the zebrafish models have emerged as powerful tools for an in vivo testing of novel anticancer agents and nanomaterials for counteracting tumor formation and metastases and improving the efficacy of current radiation and chemotherapeutic treatments against aggressive, metastatic and lethal cancers.

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