Chemotherapeutic dosing, is largely based on the tolerance levels of toxicity today. Molecular imaging strategies can be leveraged to quantify DNA cytotoxicity and thereby serve as a theranostic tool to improve the efficacy of treatments. Methoxyamine-modified cyanine-7 (Cy7MX) is a molecular probe which binds to apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP)-sites, inhibiting DNA-repair mechanisms implicated by cytotoxic chemotherapies. Herein, we loaded (Cy7MX) onto polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles (AuNP) to selectively and stably deliver the molecular probe intravenously to tumors. We optimized the properties of Cy7MX-loaded AuNPs using optical spectroscopy and tested the delivery mechanism and binding affinity using the DLD1 colon cancer cell line in vitro. A 10:1 ratio of Cy7MX-AuNPs demonstrated a strong AP site-specific binding and the cumulative release profile demonstrated 97% release within 12 min from a polar to a nonpolar environment. We further demonstrated targeted delivery using imaging and biodistribution studies in vivo in an xenografted mouse model. This work lays a foundation for the development of real-time molecular imaging techniques that are poised to yield quantitative measures of the efficacy and temporal profile of cytotoxic chemotherapies.