Easy presymptomatic diagnosis of cancer is a medical dream. Epigenomics AG believes that it has moved one step closer to reality, identifying more than 200 methylated sequence tags (MeSTs) in colon cancer that are different from healthy individuals. Even more important, they can be detected easily in tissue, serum and stool.

"Aberrant DNA methylation is one of the most frequent events in cancer," said CEO Alexander Olek. "It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that the methylation or demethylation of genes can lead to the silencing of tumor suppressors, or switch on genes that promote invasive growth."