The treatment for cancer patients is shifting from population-based treatment to the more precise personalized medicine. Tumor-specific molecular diagnostics and treatment are an example of this phenomena to assist clinical decision making and to improve treatment strategies for patients. This change in management will lead to societal benefits such as treatments that fits the patient’s needs and therefore, increased health benefits and increased quality-of-life. The targeted agent we have developed has both an imaging version to improve the detection and resection of cancer and an cytotoxic variant to eliminate potential remaining tumor cells. At this point, there is no agent available that can contribute to both the diagnostic phase and the subsequent treatment in a tumor-specific manner. Near infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging is a technique that has gained a lot of attention over the last decade because of its role in intra-operative guidance to improve resection, and in, for example, endoscopy to improve detection. Combining a NIR-dye to a specific tumor-targeting ligand, like an antibody or a peptide, dramatically enhances the specificity, providing a solid real-time identification and demarcation technique. In TAcTIC, we propose the clinical introduction of a targeted fluorescent imaging agent against EpCAM, which can also be used for response monitoring during endoscopy, and the initiation of a New Company (in the Netherlands) via a joint venture between LUMC and ElevenBio (Boston, United States) for the future commercialization of this agent. The expected outcomes of this proof-of-concept project are the successful introduction of a novel targeted fluorescent agent for in multiple cancer types, a joint venture between LUMC and ElevenBio for the commercialization of this agent, and societal benefits for the patient in the form of increased health benefits and quality of life due to a treatment strategy that fits the individual patient’s needs.
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