In vivo imaging of cancer in zebrafish

Myron S. Ignatius, Madeline Hayes, David M. Langenau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Zebrafish cancer models have greatly advanced our understanding of malignancy in humans. This is made possible due to the unique advantages of the zebrafish model including ex vivo development and large clutch sizes, which enable large-scale genetic and chemical screens. Transparency of the embryo and the creation of adult zebrafish devoid of pigmentation (casper) have permitted unprecedented ability to dynamically visualize cancer progression in live animals. When coupled with fluorescent reporters and transgenic approaches that drive oncogenesis, it is now possible to label entire or subpopulations of cancer cells and follow cancer growth in near real-time. Here, we will highlight aspects of in vivo imaging using the zebrafish and how it has enhanced our understanding of the fundamental aspects of tumor initiation, self-renewal, neovascularization, tumor cell heterogeneity, invasion and metastasis. Importantly, we will highlight the contribution of cancer imaging in zebrafish for drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Cancer
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Imaging
  • Self-renewal
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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