Cancer genetics and drug discovery in the zebrafish

Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Jul;3(7):533-9. doi: 10.1038/nrc1126.


Fish have a long history of use in cancer toxicology studies, because they develop neoplasms that are histologically similar to human cancers. Because of considerable progress in zebrafish genetics and genomics over the past few years, the zebrafish system has provided many useful tools for studying basic biological processes. These tools include forward genetic screens, transgenic models, specific gene disruptions and small-molecule screens. By combining carcinogenesis assays, genetic analyses and small-molecule screening techniques, the zebrafish is emerging as a powerful system for identifying novel cancer genes and for cancer drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Evaluation / methods
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / genetics*


  • Antineoplastic Agents