Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Zebrafish model for investigation of tumour drug resistance

Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) can originate from neuroendocrine cells in any part of the human body. European scientists attempted to develop a zebrafish model to study mechanisms of drug resistance in NETs.
Zebrafish model for investigation of tumour drug resistance
One out of every two patients is diagnosed with a NET that has already spread to another part of the body. This happens because NETs are hard to find and often asymptomatic until they have grown or spread.

Recent advances led to the approval of sunitinib and everolimus as NET drugs targeting tumour vasculature and protein kinases. However, many patients do not respond to this treatment. The goal of the EU-funded AZNETAC (A zebrafish model of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor to test resistance to antiangiogenic compounds) project was to develop a transgenic zebrafish model for the investigation of NET drug resistance and screening potential new therapies. This would enable the study of the stages of NET origination and spreading.

Researchers tried different strategies and finally generated an inducible transgenic NET model that was stable. In parallel, they developed a xenograft model injecting pancreatic-NET-derived human cells into embryos of a transparent fish strain expressing green fluorescent protein in their vasculature. This model enables the investigation of the interaction of human malignant cells with the vasculature.

Project activities have enabled the development of models that can be used for drug screening to overcome the resistance of NETs to drugs.

Related information


Zebrafish, neuroendocrine tumour, drug resistance, sunitinib, AZNETAC
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