Patton, E.E., Mathers, M.E., and Schartl, M. (2011) Generating and analyzing fish models of melanoma. Methods in cell biology. 105:339-366.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and incidence continues to rise rapidly (Gray-Schopfer et al., 2007). Melanoma develops from melanocytes, the pigmented cells that color our skin, hair, and eyes. Fish also have melanocytes, among other pigment cell types, and the fish and human developmental programme are highly conserved (Kelsh, 2004). The first fish models of melanoma were established in Xiphophorus, and more recently, transgenic melanoma models in zebrafish and medaka have been developed (Meierjohann and Schartl, 2006; Patton et al., 2010; Schartl et al., 2010). In this Chapter, we describe the basic techniques to generate genetic, environmental, and transgenic models of melanoma, discuss diagnoses, and describe standard molecular analysis techniques.