Zebrafish as a model to evaluate peptide-related cancer therapies.
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Peptide-derived drug discovery has experienced a remarkable resurgence in the past decade since the failure of small-molecule modulators to effectively access the large binding surfaces of intracellular protein-protein interactions as well as "undruggable" residues of certain disease-driving proteins. However, the effectiveness of peptide-based cancer therapies is being questioned in light of declines in pharmaceutical R&D efficiency. As a model of whole organism, zebrafish provide a means to develop promising peptide and protein anticancer agents in an informative, cost-effective and time-efficient manner, which also allows for surveying mechanisms of drug action and optimization of drug delivery system. This review highlights the achievements and potential of zebrafish for modelling human cancer and for peptide-based drug discovery and development. Specific challenges, possible strategies and future prospects are also discussed.