Zebrafish larvae xenografts for precision medicine

Despite advances in targeted cancer treatments, methods to predict how a specific cancer will respond to a given therapy are still lacking. Consequently, patients go through rounds of trial-and-error approaches based on guidelines to find the best treatment, often subjected to unnecessary toxicity. Using cell lines, Rita Fior and collaborators at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, used zebrafish larvae xenografts as sensors for cancer behavior and therapy guideline screening. Their data show not only sufficient resolution to distinguish functional tumor behaviors in just 4 days but also differential sensitivity to colorectal cancer therapy. As proof-of-principle, they provide evidence for similar behavior response to therapies in patients as in zebrafish patient-derived xenografts. Altogether, their results suggest zebrafish larvae xenografts as a promising in vivo screening platform for precision medicine.

See the article entitled “Single-cell functional and chemosensitive profiling of combinatorial colorectal therapy in zebrafish xenografts” published in PNAS.