Aberrant DNA methylation might initiate cancer development Cells control which genes they express by multiple mechanisms, among which may be the direct modification of DNA with small molecules. Methylation of genes effectively silences them, and excess DNA methylation, particularly of genes that control the cell cycle, is known to promote cancer formation. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether the enzymes that change DNA in this manner target specific genes or whether random adjustments select cells for enhanced tumorigenic capactiy. In fresh research, Rudolf Jaenisch and colleagues, at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, investigated DNA methylation in a mouse style of colon cancers. They discovered that a DNA methylating enzyme, Dnmt3b, targeted specific genes for silencing, and these genes were equivalent to those silenced in human being tumors.It has additionally been encouraging to find indicators of ACE-041 activity in an array of tumour types, since this aligns with our hypothesis that ACE-041 may have anti-tumour activity in virtually any tumour which has angiogenic activity, of tumour histology regardless. Additionally it is important to note that while we have demonstrated significant activity with ACE-041 monotherapy in this study, we would expect to see even more efficacy in future studies with ACE-041 found in combination with various other therapies.’ Prof Sharma and his colleagues are organizing additional investigations of the basic safety and tolerability of the drug in an additional band of patients and hope to start phase II research of ACE-041 in 2011.