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From Fruit Flies to Human Cancer

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Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell division. Normal cells will only divide when new cells are required but if a cell becomes cancerous then this control is lost and the cell starts to divide as quickly as it can, invading normal tissue, sometimes killing the individual. To understand cancer, we need to understand how cell division is controlled. We use the fruit fly, Drosophila, to study this process. We have developed techniques that enable us to probe how proteins function inside the cells of the developing fly embryo. Our work on flies is revealing new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer in humans.

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