Incomplete resections and damage to critical structures increase morbidity and mortality of patients with cancer. Targeted intraoperative fluorescence imaging aids surgeons by providing real-time visualization of tumors and vital structures. This study evaluated the tumor-targeted zwitterionic near-infrared fluorescent peptide cRGD-ZW800-1 as tracer for intraoperative imaging of multiple cancer types. cRGD-ZW800-1 was validated in vitro on glioblastoma (U-87 MG) and colorectal (HT-29) cell lines. Subsequently, the tracer was tested in orthotopic mouse models with HT-29, breast (MCF-7), pancreatic (BxPC-3), and oral (OSC-19) tumors. Dose-ranging studies, including doses of 0.25, 1.0, 10, and 30 nmol, in xenograft tumor models suggest an optimal dose of 10 nmol, corresponding to a human equivalent dose of 63 μg/kg, and an optimal imaging window between 2 and 24 h post-injection. The mean half-life of cRGD-ZW800-1 in blood was 25 min. Biodistribution at 4 h showed the highest fluorescence signals in tumors and kidneys. In vitro and in vivo competition experiments showed significantly lower fluorescence signals when U-87 MG cells (minus 36%, p = 0.02) or HT-29 tumor bearing mice (TBR at 4 h 3.2 ± 0.5 vs 1.8 ± 0.4, p = 0.03) were simultaneously treated with unlabeled cRGD. cRGD-ZW800-1 visualized in vivo all colorectal, breast, pancreatic, and oral tumor xenografts in mice. Screening for off-target interactions, cRGD-ZW800-1 showed only inhibition of COX-2, likely due to binding of cRGD-ZW800-1 to integrin αVβ3. Due to its recognition of various integrins, which are expressed on malignant and neoangiogenic cells, it is expected that cRGD-ZW800-1 will provide a sensitive and generic tool to visualize cancer during surgery.