Leukemia involves different types of blood cancers, which lead to significant mortality
and morbidity. Murine models of leukemia have been instrumental in understanding the
biology of the disease and identifying therapeutics. However, such models are time
consuming and expensive in high throughput genetic and drug screening.Drosophilamelanogasterhas
emerged as an invaluable in vivo model for studying different diseases, including
cancer. Fruit flies possess several hematopoietic processes and compartments that
are in close resemblance to their mammalian counterparts. A number of studies succeeded
in characterizing the fly's response upon the expression of human leukemogenic proteins
in hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic tissues. Moreover, some of these studies showed
that these models are amenable to genetic screening. However, none were reported to
be tested for drug screening. In this review, we describe theDrosophilahematopoietic
system, briefly focusing on leukemic diseases in which fruit flies have been used.
We discuss myeloid and lymphoid leukemia fruit fly models and we further highlight
their roles for future therapeutic screening. In conclusion, fruit fly leukemia models
constitute an interesting area which could speed up the process of integrating new
therapeutics when complemented with mammalian models.