Tissue design: how Drosophila tumors remodel their neighborhood

Parthive H. Patel, Bruce A. Edgar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Drosophila genetics has long been appreciated as a powerful approach for discovering the normal functions of genes that act as oncogenes and tumor suppressors in human cancer. Recent studies have also highlighted its advantages for deciphering how such genes function during tumorigenesis itself. Here we detail studies relating to how tumors, generated in developing organs and adult stem cell-based tissues, remodel the tissue landscape to their benefit. Like mammalian tumors, insect tumors can dissolve extracellular matrix, recruit blood cells, migrate and invade other tissues. While much is known about how mammalian fibroblasts, immune cells and vasculature promote late tumorigenesis, less is understood about the very earliest stages of tumor development in mammals. Because Drosophila has fewer mitotic cells and a simpler tissue architecture, it affords easy detection and analysis of early clonal tumor growth. Drosophila studies have revealed both cooperative and competitive interactions between tumor and normal cells during early tumor growth. During development, these interactions typically occur with other proliferative progenitor cells, but in adult stem cell-based tissues, the stem cell niche can fuel tumor growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 86-95
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Early online date28 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2014


  • Drosophila
  • Tumor
  • Microenvironment
  • Stem cells
  • Hyperplasia
  • Neoplasia


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