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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • metastasis;
  • oncogene;
  • tumor suppressor;
  • Drosophila; animal models;
  • drug discovery;
  • therapeutics

Abstract

Cancer is driven by complex genetic and cellular mechanisms. Recently, the Drosophila community has become increasingly interested in exploring cancer issues. The Drosophila field has made seminal contributions to many of the mechanisms that are fundamental to the cancer process; several of these mechanisms have already been validated in vertebrates. Less well known are the Drosophila field's early direct contributions to the cancer field: some of the earliest tumor suppressors were identified in flies. In this review, we identify major contributions that Drosophila studies have made toward dissecting the pathways and mechanisms underlying tumor progression. We also highlight areas, such as drug discovery, where we expect Drosophila studies to make a major scientific impact in the future. Developmental Dynamics 241:107–118, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc