Cancer has joined heart disease as the leading source of mortality in the US. In an era of organoids, patient-derived xenografts, and organs on a chip, model organisms continue to thrive with a combination of powerful genetic tools, rapid pace of discovery, and affordability. Model organisms enable the analysis of both the tumor and its associated microenvironment, aspects that are particularly relevant to our understanding of metastasis and drug resistance. In this Perspective, we explore some of the strengths of fruit flies and zebrafish for addressing fundamental cancer questions and how these two organisms can contribute to identifying promising therapeutic candidates.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Photo of Len Zon

The Zon laboratory aims to dissect how assaults to the hematopoietic system cause severe diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias. They investigate hematopoietic development and disease using chemical screens, genetic screens, and analysis of novel transgenic lines in zebrafish.

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