Editor’s Pick: Simple, Low-Cost, and Timely Optical Biosensors for the Detection of Epigenetic Biomarkers: The Future of Cancer Diagnosis

This issue’s Editor’s Pick is a relevant discussion paper from Lechuga et al. on the potential of simple, low-cost, and timely optical biosensors for the detection of epigenetic biomarkers in cancer diagnosis. The development of new methods for the detection and monitoring of cancer has been the subject of intense research over the last few years and the role of biosensors in the analysis of epigenetic biomarkers offers a promising solution. Samantha Warne

César S. Huertas, *Laura M. Lechuga

Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology and CIBER-BBN, Barcelona, Spain
*Correspondence to laura.lechuga@icn2.cat

Disclosure: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the EPISENS project of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (TEC2012−3428). The nanoB2A is a consolidated research group (Grup de Recerca) of the Generalitat de Catalunya and has support from the Departament d’Universitats, Recerca i Societat de la Informació de la Generalitat de Catalunya (2014 SGR 624). ICN2 acknowledges support of the Spanish MINECO through the Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence Program under Grant SEV-2013-0295.
Received: 13.06.17 Accepted: 18.09.17
Citation: EMJ Oncol. 2017;5[1]:54-61.


The cancer burden continues to grow with enormous physical, emotional, and financial pressure on individuals, families, communities, and health systems. Early detection and effective treatment are crucial. The analysis of epigenetic biomarkers is presented as an exceptional solution for early cancer diagnosis and personalised treatment design. These brand new biomarkers have initiated a diagnostic revolution because of their predictive capability and reversibility, opening the window for timely diagnostics and personalised medicine. In recent years, the potential of optical biosensors for epigenetic biomarker evaluation has been revealed. Nanotechnology is promoting the appearance of new advanced biosensors able to be integrated in complete lab-on-chip platforms. Lab-on-chip biosensors are offering simplified, cost-effective, and fast results to solve the current diagnostic problems. In this review, we present the advantages offered by the analysis of epigenetic routes in cancer diagnosis and the current advances in optical biosensors for cancer epigenetic analysis, showing how the new biosensor solutions manage to surpass the challenges encountered during the analysis of each epigenetic mechanism.

This article is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 License.

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