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J Genet Genomics. 2011 Oct 20;38(10):431-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jgg.2011.09.004. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Tumor invasion and metastasis in Drosophila: a bold past, a bright future.

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Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Garscube Estate, Bearsden, Glasgow, UK.


Invasion and metastasis are the most deadly hallmarks of cancer. Once a cancer has acquired the ability to colonize new sites in the body it becomes dramatically more difficult to treat. This has made it a focus of much of cancer research. The humble fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has despite its relative simplicity, made significant contributions to the understanding of tumor progression. In this review we outline and highlight those with an emphasis on modeling the genetic and epigenetic changes required for invasion and metastasis. We will revisit the early years of cancer modeling in Drosophila where the first parallels were drawn between Drosophila and vertebrate neoplasms and highlight recent advances using genetic screens and interactions with the epithelial microenvironment and innate immune system. We focus on the power and limitations of current fly models of metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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