The success of a curative surgery for cancer is dependent on the complete removal of all cancer cells. Tumor visualization by the surgeon can be enhanced through fluorescent-antibody targeting. To further develop such technology, we selected humanized anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) conjugated to a near-infrared dye to target orthotopically-implanted human colon cancer in nude mice. The HT-29 human colon cancer cell line was grown in culture and subcutaneously injected in mice. After 3 wk of growth, tumors were resected and cut into 2 mm Laparotomy was performed 24 h after labeling the tumors. When imaged through the 800 nm channel, the tumors were observed to be strongly labeled with anti-CEA-IRDye800. At 48 h, laparotomy was repeated which again demonstrated strong labeling of the tumors through the 800 nm channel, but with a lower absolute intensity (in relative units), than at 24 h. Humanized anti-CEA-IRDye800CW can rapidly and effectively label CEA-expressing human colon cancer in an orthotopic nude mouse model. Given the ability of this technology to target and label tumors with great specificity, the anti-CEA-IRDye800CW is currently being developed for clinical use in fluorescence-guided surgery.