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Modelling Cancer in Drosophila

  1. Anthony M Brumby,
  2. Helena E Richardson

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020862



How to Cite

Brumby, A. M. and Richardson, H. E. 2008. Modelling Cancer in Drosophila. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 MAR 2013)


Ever since the discovery of neoplastic and metastatic overgrowths in Drosophila melanogaster, the fly has been recognized as an excellent model organism for studying tumorigenesis. Recently, however, its relevance has become even more pronounced with the modelling of neoplasias in somatic clones of tissue using cooperative interactions between tumour suppressors and homologues of known mammalian oncogenes. The realization that many Drosophila neoplasias can be understood with respect to aberrant differentiation of stem cell progeny, together with the growing trend to postulate a stem cell origin of mammalian cancers, further highlight the enormous potential of fly cancer models to greatly increase our understanding of how human cancers develop.


  • Drosophila;
  • cancer;
  • stem cells;
  • polarity;
  • differentiation