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Background

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Driven by input from its scientific community, the Cancer Imaging Program (CIP) finds itself at the junction of two powerful scientific requisites; the need for cross-disciplinary research and inter-institutional data-sharing to speed scientific discovery and reduce redundancy, and the need to provide imaging phenotype data to augment large scale genomic analysis.

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The Cancer

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Genome Atlas (TCGA)

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 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

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national

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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.

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The success of that pilot

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encouraged the National Institutes of Health

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(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.

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As an opportunity to leverage that wealth of new biomedical knowledge, CIP committed substantial effort to gather and place the clinical diagnostic images that match the genomically analyzed TCGA tissue cases in The Cancer Imaging Archive. CIP 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 200 subjects 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 across the country to create the TCGA Glioma Phenotype Research Group. In less than a year's time they have quickly demonstrated the advantages of such scientific collaboration by their rapid scientific progress with a number of publications and abstracts presented and 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 brain (GBM/LGG), breast (BRCA), renal (KIRC), lung (LUAD), and in due time, many of the future 20-plus tumors that TCGA will characterize as the program moves forward.  Imaging Source Site (ISS) Groups are being created and governed by participants from institutions that have provided imaging data to the archive for a given cancer type. Modeled after TCGA analysis groups, these groups are given the opportunity to publish a marker paper for a given cancer type per the aforementioned publication policy. It is hoped that this will generate increased participation in the building of these multi-institutional data sets that become an open community resource. 

Publication Policies

TCIA publication guidelines are derived from the policy outlined by the The Cancer Genome Atlas. These must be followed in addition to the publication policy of the TCGA Data Portal: http://cancergenome.nih.gov/abouttcga/policies/publicationguidelines.

There are no limitations on publications containing analyses using any TCGA-linked imaging data set if the data set meets one of the following three freedom-to-publish criteria:

  1. A marker paper has been published on that tumor type; or
  2. 12 months after 100 cases of a given tumor type have had their DICOM data published on TCIA; or
  3. The author receives specific approval from the TCGA Image Source Site (ISS) Groups representing any relevant tumor types.

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The genomic, clinical and histopathology images from the project are available via NCI's Genomic Data Commons.  NCI's Cancer Imaging Program subsequently leveraged the agreements with TCGA Tissue Source Sites to collect clinical diagnostic images from these subjects and make them available on TCIA.  By combining the imaging data from TCIA with the other data types collected by TCGA a research community focused on connecting cancer phenotypes to genotypes was formed, resulting in over one hundred peer-reviewed publications about these data.

Data Access

Radiology data for TCGA patients are hosted on TCIA.  Pathology images were collected prior to TCIA's involvement in the project, and are hosted on NCI's Genomic Data Commons along with the genomic and clinical data from these studies.  Use the links in the table to access each type of imaging data.

Collection

Tumor Type

LocationsModalitiesRadiology (Subjects)Pathology (Subjects)
TCGA-BLCABladder Endothelial CarcinomaBladderCT, CR, MR, PT, DX, Pathology120

412

TCGA-BRCABreast CancerBreastMR, MG, Pathology1391098
TCGA-CESCCervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Endocervical AdenocarcinomaCervixMR, Pathology54307
TCGA-COADColon AdenocarcinomaColonCT, Pathology25460
TCGA-ESCAEsophageal CarcinomaEsophagusCT, Pathology16183
TCGA-GBMGlioblastoma MultiformeBrainMR, CT, DX, Pathology262606
TCGA-HNSCHead and Neck Squamous Cell CarcinomaHead-NeckCT, MR, PT, RTSTRUCT, RTPLAN, RTDOSE, Pathology227520
TCGA-KICHKidney ChromophobeKidneyCT, MR, Pathology15113
TCGA-KIRCKidney Renal Clear Cell CarcinomaRenalCT, MR, CR, Pathology267537
TCGA-KIRPKidney Renal Papillary Cell CarcinomaRenalCT, MR, PT, Pathology33288
TCGA-LGGLow Grade GliomaBrainMR, CT, Pathology199515
TCGA-LIHCLiver Hepatocellular CarcinomaLiverMR, CT, PT, Pathology97377
TCGA-LUADLung AdenocarcinomaChestCT, PT, NM, Pathology69514
TCGA-LUSCLung Squamous Cell CarcinomaLungCT, NM, PT, Pathology37495
TCGA-OVOvarian Serous CystadenocarcinomaOvaryCT, MR, Pathology143590
TCGA-PRADProstate CancerProstateCT, PT, MR, Pathology14496
TCGA-READRectum AdenocarcinomaRectumCT, MR, Pathology3171
TCGA-SARCSarcomasChest-Abdomen-Pelvis, Leg, TSpineCT, MR, Pathology5261
TCGA-STADStomach AdenocarcinomaStomachCT, Pathology46440
TCGA-THCAThyroid CancerThyroidCT, PT, Pathology6506
TCGA-UCECUterine Corpus Endometrial CarcinomaUterusCT, CR, MR, PT, Pathology65560


Frederick National Lab Research Efforts

Imaging Source Site (ISS) Groups were organized by the Cancer Imaging Informatics Lab within the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.  The groups were governed by participants from institutions which provided imaging data to the archive for each TCGA cancer type. Modeled after the TCGA genomic analysis groups, ISS groups were given a one year embargo window after 100 cases were accrued to publish a marker paper for a given cancer type

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Specifically, the status of each tumor data set is available below. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact cancerimagingarchive@mail.nih.gov.

Tumor Type

Data Status

TCGA-GBM

No restrictions; image data available without limitations

TCGA-KIRC

Publication limitations in place until 08/22/2013

TCGA-BRCA

Publication limitations in place until 10/16/2013

TCGA-LUAD, TCGA-LGG

Projects have not reached 100 imaging cases; Please check with cancerimagingarchive@mail.nih.gov prior to any publication

Ongoing Research Efforts

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. This increased incentive among source sites to contribute their patients' images, which would ultimately become a public resource to enable radiogenomic research. The ISS groups included:

Please contact us at cancerimagingarchive@mail.nih.gov if you would like to join our public mailing lists to receive notifications of newly available data and other news items related to these data sets.

References


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: http://cancergenome.nih.gov/abouttcga/policies/publicationguidelines.  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: http://cancergenome.nih.gov/."


References

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.

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