Cancer treatment could be boosted by the findings of a new study, which looked at the process of neuroblast growth, which can sometimes create a brain tumour when out of control.
The study identified a tumour-suppressing protein in flies, which is similar to that, which is found in mammals.
Scientists from Singapore's Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School made the discovery, which will be published in full in the Development journal.
Assistant professor of neuroscience and behavioral disorders, and senior author Dr Hongyan Wang commented: "Our data explicitly show that the fruitfly protein PP2A (protein phosphatase 2A) suppresses brain tumor formation and controls the balance of self-renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells."
He added that cancer treatment will benefit from this breakthrough due to the fact that the process of cell division is similar in both mammals and flies, indicating that a great deal can be learned.
A recent study has also found that cancer is the second most common cause of death among people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.