Uveal melanoma modeling in mice and zebrafish

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Despite extensive research and refined therapeutic options, the survival for metastasized uveal melanoma (UM) patients has not improved significantly. UM, a malignant tumor originating from melanocytes in the uveal tract, can be asymptomatic and small tumors may be detected only during routine ophthalmic exams; making early detection and treatment difficult. UM is the result of a number of characteristic somatic alterations which are associated with prognosis. Although UM morphology and biology have been extensively studied, there are significant gaps in our understanding of the early stages of UM tumor evolution and effective treatment to prevent metastatic disease remain elusive. A better understanding of the mechanisms that enable UM cells to thrive and successfully metastasize is crucial to improve treatment efficacy and survival rates. For more than forty years, animal models have been used to investigate the biology of UM. This has led to a number of essential mechanisms and pathways involved in UM aetiology. These models have also been used to evaluate the effectiveness of various drugs and treatment protocols. Here, we provide an overview of the molecular mechanisms and pharmacological studies using mouse and zebrafish UM models. Finally, we highlight promising therapeutics and discuss future considerations using UM models such as optimal inoculation sites, use of BAP1mut-cell lines and the rise of zebrafish models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number189055
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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