Zebrafish Model in Anticancer Therapy Studies

Zebrafish has gained attention as a robust model for cancer research mainly because of its high fecundity, cost-effective maintenance, dynamic visualization of tumor growth in vivo, and the possibility of chemical screening in large numbers of animals at reasonable costs.

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Zebrafish Cancer Model

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Zebrafish Cancer Model

Cancer is a worldwide disease, being one of the main causes of morbidity  and mortality at present. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an ideal in vivo model to  study a wide variety of human cancer types. In terms of cancer research, the  zebrafish model has advantages against traditional cell culture assays, as a  broader range of phenotypes can be tested. Zebrafish and mammals share  common molecular pathways of tumor progression. Major players of human  cancer related pathways have their homologs in the zebrafish genome. 

Cancer induction in adult zebrafish:

The cultured cancer cells were trypsinized and labeled with fluorescent  dyes at 10 nmol/L before injection. The cells were injected into the  intraperitoneal cavity of the fish. After insertion of tumor cells in the zebrafish  cell cavity, the aquarium temperature was adjusted to 32 °C to improve the  development of human tumor cells in the fish organism.

Drug administration routes in zebrafish:

The drug-loaded syringe of 2-20 μl to deliver 5 μl of solution for a  repeatable, safe and efficient method of delivering precise volumes of  compounds orally to adult zebrafish.


In terms of cancer research, zebrafish allows scientists to study  procedures such as tumor formation, migration, and metastasis as well as  to perform an agile identification of the optimal molecule, or/and known  drug (repositioning), to treat each different tumor type.


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