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Driven by input from


the scientific community, the Cancer Imaging Program (CIP)


stands at the


crossroad of two powerful scientific requisites


: the need for cross-disciplinary research and the increase of inter-institutional data




. The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) is building a research community focused on connecting cancer phenotypes to genotypes by


providing clinical images matched to


subjects from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).


TCGA began in 2006 as a three-year pilot jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The TCGA pilot project (focused initially on glioblastoma, ovary, and lung cancers) confirmed that an atlas of genomic changes could be constructed for specific cancer types. It also showed that a national network networks of research and technology teams working on related projects could pool their efforts, create an economy of scale, and develop an infrastructure for making the data publicly accessible. Importantly, it proved that making the data freely available would enable distributed researchers Freely available data enables researchers across the world to make and validate important discoveries. The success of that pilot led encouraged the National Institutes of Health to commit major new resources to TCGA to (NIH) to invest in TCGA’s efforts to collect and characterize more than 20 additional tumor types and make findings freely accessible for researchers to download via TCGA Data Portal.

As an opportunity to leverage that this wealth of new biomedical knowledge, CIP committed substantial effort to gather and place in The Cancer Imaging Archive the used its agreements with TCGA Tissue Site Source institutions to collect clinical diagnostic images for TCIA that match the genomically analyzed TCGA tissue cases . CIP has encouraged an ad hoc image research team to study glioblastoma. The Cancer Imaging Archive now contains a TCGA GBM collection with images from more than 150 cases whose molecular and clinical patient data can be accessed in the TCGA Data Portal.  A multi-institutional team coordinated by Dr Adam Flanders of Thomas Jefferson University assembled researchers from University of Virginia, Emory, Stanford, Henry Ford Hospital and NCI CCR have demonstrated the advantages of such scientific collaboration by their rapid scientific progress and 4 abstracts presented this month at the American Society of NeuroRadiology meeting in Seattle, with still more publications and abstracts in the pipeline for future venues.  

Presently, CIP is developing agreements with many of the TCGA Tissue Site Source institutions to recover and place in the Image Archive collections of diagnostic images that match the genomic data now being deposited in the publically accessible TCGA Data Portal on cancers of the breast (BRCA) renal (KIRC) and lung (LUAD) and in due time, many of the future 20-plus tumors that TCGA will characterize as the program moves forward.

Continuing these efforts CIP is working to accrue images from additional sites for both GBM and the other tissue types being collected as part of the original TCGA project. Please see the child pages below to view ongoing projects and data availability for each cancer type.  Efforts have already begun in the following TCGA tissue types:

in the 20-plus cancer types that TCGA has characterized. 


Ongoing Research Efforts

Imaging Source Site (ISS) Groups are being populated and governed by participants from institutions that have provided imaging data to the archive for a given cancer type. Modeled after TCGA analysis groups, ISS groups are given the opportunity to publish a marker paper for a given cancer type per the guidelines in the table above. This opportunity will generate increased participation in building these multi-institutional data sets as they become an open community resource. Current ISS groups include:


TCGA Collections Publication Guidelines

Historically TCIA had implemented publication guidelines derived from the policy outlined by the The Cancer Genome Atlas, TCGA. These were followed in addition to the publication policy of the TCGA Data Portal:  As of 10/30/2018 all cancer types are now available for use without any special restrictions.  Please be sure to follow TCIA's regular Data Usage Policies and Restrictions, and to also provide attribution recognizing the TCGA data collection efforts.  An example of a proper attribution is:

"The results <published or shown> here are in whole or part based upon data generated by the TCGA Research Network:"



The following links contain publications from the main TCGA project as well as their posted publication guidelines:

Included below are some posters and presentations which help summarize the CIP TCGA Radiology Initiative and its supporting components such as TCIA.