The ambitious aim of this ERC-advanced grant proposal is to develop strategies that will connect cancer detection and surgery via tumor-specific molecular imaging techniques. This will lead to personalized patient-, or even tumor-specific treatment strategies. In addition, it will provide a tool for the selection of patients that, following preoperative (neoadjuvant) treatment, would benefit from additional (minimally invasive) surgery and identify patients who may be treated non-operatively. Fine-tuning the relation between tumor diagnosis, neoadjuvant treatment, preoperative planning and minimally invasive image-guided surgery will likely improve radical oncologic surgery while reducing surgical morbidity in cancer patients.
The mechanistic aim of the proposal is to develop an integrated multimodal imaging strategy that will more accurately connect tumor biology with surgical resection approaches via the use of tumor-specific molecular imaging agents. The cornerstone of this approach is the unique clinical translation of tumor-targeted imaging agents that are both radioactive (diagnostic imaging) and fluorescently (surgical guidance) labeled. It is expected that the proposed multimodal imaging agents will allow for a significant improvement of both imaging and surgery strategies.
Fields of science
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