The 5 Work Packages (WP)
    Brief description and approach / Concrete facts
    Description and approach: Primary objective: development of the NIRF labelled contrast reagent and TCO tag with optimised affinity and selectivity for neovasculature structures. Secondary objective: Optimisation of a rapid bio-orthogonal reaction for targeted imaging and radiotherapy. Credibility: LUMC is amongst the leading groups of the world for image-guided surgery. The institute has already demonstrated with both non-targeted (ICG, methylene blue) and targeted (CEA, EpCAM, cRGD, EGFR) fluorescent probes that these tools can be used during surgery. Moreover, LUMC has also taken ICG into the clinic as standard of care for sentinel lymph node mapping.
    Description and approach: The aim is to enhance optical detection of tumour margins by optimising a MSOT prototype to unprecedented depth during small animal surgery. Credibility: The laboratory for Multi-Spectral Optoacoustic Tomography at TUM is a world-renowned leader in this field. The group has produced cutting-edge technology capable of small animal imaging at high resolution as well as experimental handheld systems for flexibility.
    Description and approach: The aim is the validation of the (ZW800-1-cRGD-TCO) construct / integrin αvβ3 target combination across the subcellular, cellular, endoscopic and macroscopic levels. This is a prerequisite to identifying a minimum tumour margin distance during intraoperative image-guided surgery. Credibility: LUMC and UMG-GOE were two of the pioneering groups that started preclinical molecular imaging in Europe. Both offer state-of-art small animal tumour models and imaging and surgical facilities. In addition, MKT is an innovator for ultra-thin, highly flexible fibred microprobes designed to facilitate imaging of different areas of a living animal.
    Description and approach: WP4 exploits the engineered TCO tag to capture locally applied radiotherapeutics after intraoperative image-guided surgery with the aim to a) demonstrate improved survival rates (compared with surgery alone) and b) that radionuclide delivery to the tumour can be increased for therapy without increasing the radiation dose to normal organs. Credibility: Molecular radiotherapy is an upcoming area where optical and radioimaging will be brought together in this project. These two disciplines have historically worked more side by side and very rarely come together. This will be achieved the researchers on this project, who work across the different radio- and imaging labs. The click-tag chemistry developed by Marc Robillard (TAG) and the knowledge of radiolabelled probes from Prof Alan Perkins (GAMMA) will complement our other partners to bring about a unique hybrid optical /radiolabel construct as a deliverable of this project.
    Description and approach: The project will be managed by PERC in conjunction with a project steering committee made up of the principal investigators. PERC will oversee the Project Progress, collate the reports, monitor the financial status and organise the logistics of the overall program. Credibility: PERC is a biotech company operating in the area of drug discovery research and optical imaging of pathways. Alan Chan of PERC has many years experience in successfully managing multi-disciplinary research consortia.