This chapter describes how to get started using TCIA. A short video tutorial is also available:
Topics in this chapter include:
Introduction to TCIA
TCIA provides the cancer research and medical community, industry, and academia access to imaging archives that can be used for many purposes, including the potential to assist in the development and validation of analytical software tools supporting these functions:
- Lesion detection and classification software
- Accelerated diagnostic imaging decision
- Quantitative imaging assessment of drug response
The archive provides access to imaging resources that improve the use of imaging in today's cancer research and practice. This access increases the efficiency and reproducibility of imaging cancer detection and diagnosis, leverages imaging to provide an objective assessment of therapeutic response, and ultimately enables the development of imaging resources that will lead to improved clinical decision support.
Clinical trials, physicians and other researchers submit images to TCIA using the CTP (Clinical Trial Processing) software. Any potential user can then access TCIA to search for and download images and associated annotation files.
Images are stored in the medical image standard, Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM). A DICOM file stores the digital image along with a series of tags that contain metadata about the image such as patient ID, study ID, patient weight, anatomic site, and so forth. More information about DICOM.
Here is a short video introduction to TCIA:
The TCIA application does not support the refresh button. You are encouraged to refrain from using it when in the application.
Registering a New User
To access both the TCIA wiki and the archive of DICOM images, you must follow these steps to register as a new user.
- Start at www.cancerimagingarchive.net. Click .
- Click the Register Now link in the Register Now panel as shown below.
The legal provisions page appears.
- Review the text on the page and click the CLICKING HERE link at the bottom to indicate your agreement.
- Enter the challenge word(s) on the CAPCHA page. Click Verify.
The registration form appears.
- All fields are required. Do not include special characters in your username, but your password can have special characters.
- Click Create.
Once you have submitted your entry form, an automated handshake email will be sent to your address. Once you confirm the account registration, your account is registered.
If you are registering here for access to a private space within TCIA's wiki, you may additionally need to request access to that restricted space by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this email, include your username and the URL of the wiki to which you want access.
Using TCIA Without Logging In
You do not have to log in to access public data in TCIA. Simply begin to use the features on the Welcome page.
You can use the search function as a "guest" without logging in. All data that TCIA returns without being logged in is public. As a guest, you can add data to the data basket. For more information, see Working with the Data Basket.
If you are not logged into the application, some functions are unavailable; these are saving a search query, viewing saved queries, viewing query histories, and managing saved queries. You also cannot download more than 3 gigabytes of data at one time.
If the application is configured to enable the guest account access, the login section will be "hidden" by the login link by default. Additionally, you should be able to see the Search Image link on the home page.
In some cases of local installation, the decision may have been made not to enable public data access without login. If the application is configured to disable the guest account access, the login section is "expanded" by default. If that's the case, there is no way for the user to bypass login and perform tasks.
Logging into TCIA
If you do not have a User ID or password, click Register Now to apply for a user account. For more information, see Registering a New User.
If you have already registered, perform the following steps to log in.
- In the User Login panel, enter your User ID and password.
Click Login. If your login is successful, the data portal appears.
TCIA uses popups. To prevent problems accessing the application, in your browser, enable a popup blocker exception for https://public.cancerimagingarchive.net/ncia/login.jsf.
If you have persistent difficulty logging in, click I cannot access my account on the TCIA login page. A TCIA Account Help topic opens, describing help options for resolving your login problem. Alternately, contact the TCIA Help Desk.
Using the TCIA Home Page
The home page offers the options described in the following table.
For more information, see
Return to the TCIA Home page.
Open the Simple Search page.
|Text Search||Open the Text Search page.||Performing a Text Search|
|Advanced Search||Open the Advanced Search page.||Performing an Advanced Search|
Manage Data Basket
Open the My Data Basket page. This is the same option as choosing Manage Data Basket from the menu bar.
List DICOM Image Viewers
Open a page displaying links to freeware DICOM image viewers.
|View Saved Queries||Open the Saved Queries page.|
|View Query History||Open the Query History page.||Viewing Query History|
|Create Shared List||Open the Create Shared List page.||Creating a Shared List|
|Edit Shared List||Open the Edit Shared List page.||Editing a Shared List|
|Search Shared List||Open the Search Shared List page.||Searching a Shared List|
Evaluate a submission and assign a QC status.
|Approve Deletions||Approve the deletion of image series marked for deletion.||Approving Image Deletions|
|Manage Shared List||Delete shared lists created by other users.||Managing a Shared List|
|View Submission Reports||Run reports to verify that images have been received and to monitor the status of the submitted images.||Viewing Submission Reports|
|Perform Online Deletions||Immediately remove images that are marked as approved for deletion.||Manually Deleting Image Series|
|Edit Collection Descriptions||Add a brief description for a collection so that TCIA users know what data is in the collection.||Editing a Collection Description|
|Manage Workflow Items||Create, edit, and delete workflow items that involve changing the visibility status of an image series and/or trigger a web service call to a URL.||Managing Workflow Items|
|Manage Saved Queries||Review and delete saved queries.||Managing Saved Queries|
Open a browser window with support options
|Logout||Log out of TCIA and return to the TCIA home page.|
Using TCIA Online Help
Not logged in?
You can open the user's guide without being logged into TCIA.
Click Help > User Guides in the top menu bar to open the TCIA User's Guide on the TCIA wiki.
On any application page, clickto open the help topic that applies to features available on that TCIA page.