Targeted therapy, the treatment of cancer based on an underlying genetic alteration, is rapidly gaining favor as the preferred therapeutic approach. To date, although natural products represent a rich resource of bio-diverse drug candidates, only a few have been identified to be effective as targeted cancer therapies largely due to the incompatibilities to current high-throughput screening methods. In this article, we review the utility of a zebrafish developmental screen for bioactive natural product-based compounds that target signaling pathways that are intimately shared with those in humans. Any bioactive compound perturbing signaling pathways identified from phenotypic developmental defects in zebrafish embryos provide an opportunity for developing targeted therapies for human cancers. This model provides a promising tool in the search for targeted cancer therapeutics from natural products.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.