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Please see the Data Usage Policies and Restrictions page for any questions about how our data can be used.
Questions about The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) Website
1. Do you have a User's Guide?
A detailed TCIA user's guide can be obtained by clicking on TCIA User’s Guide.
2. How do I contact TCIA Help Desk?
The TCIA Help Desk can be reached in one of two ways:
- By email: email@example.com
- By phone or text message: +1 314-747-4254385-275-8242 (+1 385 ASK-TCIA)
3. What are the hours of operation for TCIA Help Desk?
The hours of operation are 7:00 am to 5:00 pm CST, Monday-Friday. Although the Help Desk is closed weekends and holidays, a request can be submitted at any time. Holidayhours Holiday hours and further information may be found hereon our Support page.
4. What if I have questions on navigating TCIA website?
The TCIA User's Guide should provide all the direction you need. Please contact TCIA’s Help Desk with additional questions by calling or texting +1 314-747-4254 or 385-275-8242 (+1 385 ASK-TCIA) or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
5. What if I am unable to connect to TCIA website?
Please contact TCIA’s Help Desk (+1 314385-747-4254275-8242, voice or text ) or send us an email (email@example.com).
6. How do I submit feedback to TCIA website?
We welcome and appreciate your comments. Feedback maybe submitted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. What if I am being prompted to enter a verification code, but there is no verification code available and no place to type it?
A security warning prompt displays and asks "Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely". Answer NO to the prompt in order to see the captcha information that is used for verification.
If you answer YES, the captcha information will NOT display.
8. Why am I prompted to sign in to TCIA when I am searching only on public collections?
A bug in the software causes a sign in window to rarely and randomly appear when you access the website.
To resolve this issue until the bug is fixed, click Cancel on the Sign in window and proceed normally with using TCIA. If you do need to log in to visit a restricted collection, do not sign in on this window but rather click the Login tab to open the normal Login window.
Questions about User Accounts
1. Do I need a user account to access TCIA?
Not unless you need to access private collections, or use shared lists. Just search for images without entering login information.
2. When I try to register after entering the captcha phrase, I get a PMW 5033 error or an error message stating, "The PWM configuration is invalid or corrupt. Please correct the error, or remove the configuration file." How do I proceed?
Assuming you are using Internet Explorer, change your browser's language to English by following these steps:
1. From the menu bar, select Tools.
2. Select Internet Options.
3. Click on General > Language and set to English (US).
3. How do I obtain a TCIA user ID and password?
From TCIA’s login page, click on the Register Now link.
Radiology Portal, click and then click New account. Remember that you do NOT need a user ID and password unless you need to access private collections. Just search for images without entering login information.
4. What if I have issues pertaining to my TCIA user ID or password?
Assuming that you already have an account, from TCIA’s login page, click on the I cannot access my account linkRadiology Portal, click and then click.
Choose the most appropriate of the following four options:
- You have an account but have forgotten your username.
- You have an account but have forgotten your password.
- You know your username and password, and would like to change your password.
- You would like to update your contact information in our system.
If you are still having trouble accessing your account, please contact the TCIA Support Center at email@example.com or call or text +1.385.275-8242 (+1.385.ASK-TCIA) during business hours for assistance.
Questions about Accessing Collections
1. How do I find additional information about a specific collection?
You can find a list of all collections on the TCIA home page: https://www.cancerimagingarchive.net. The middle window on this page is labeled "TCIA Collections". It contains a list of all collections in TCIA. The orange "Search TCIA" button takes you to the TCIA search page. Typing anything into the "Filter table" input box will restrict the list of collections to those which match the pattern in the box. To access detailed information about a collection, click the link in the "Collection" column. This will take you to a page in the wiki with detailed information about the collection.
You can reference the corresponding wiki pages for any particular collection when you are logged into TCIA. From the search page, in the collection area, mouse over and click on the question mark symbol for information on each collection. If there is a wiki available for the collection, click on it.
You can find additional information pertaining to image data from the TCIA home page: http://www.cancerimagingarchive.net/
In the middle of the page, under For Researchers, click on the link titled The Image Collections, which will direct you to our public wiki. This wiki is organized into purpose-built Collections.
A collection of studies typically includes several subjects (patients). In some collections, there may be only one study per subject. In other collections, subjects may have been followed over time, in which case there will be multiple studies per subject. The subjects typically have a particular disease in common and/or disease at a particular anatomical site (prostate, lung, brain, etc.).
The wiki table of contents contains a list of collections available on TCIA. Each link in the table of contents contains information concerning the scientific value of a collection as well as additional meta-data when available from the data providers.
Under the Completed and Ongoing Collections table, you can sort columns. For example, for magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of the prostate, sort by Anatomical Sites, which will bring all MRIs of the prostate to the top of the list.
2. How do I request access to a restricted collection?
To access a restricted collection, you can gain approval by calling or texting the Help Desk at +1 314-747-4254 385-275-8242 (+1 385 ASK-TCIA), or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the name of the restricted collection.
3. How do I determine the status of a collection that has been submitted?
Please contact TCIA Help Desk (+1 314385-747-4254 275-8242, voice or text) or send an email (email@example.com) and and indicate the name of the collection.
4. Is a listing of all of the modality abbreviations available?
Yes, they modality abbreviations are listed here.
Questions about Searching for Images
1. How do I search and download images as well as find out information about a specific collection?
Using MRI images of the prostate as an example, follow the steps below to download images from a specific collection:
- Log into TCIA.
- Click on the Search Images link.
- To download all of the MRI prostate images, from the Simple Search filters, select MR under Image Modality (ies), select and select prostate under Anatomical Site, and click on Submit.
- Click on the Check All button to select all. Selecting the series you wish to download and clicking the Add To Basket button puts them all into the basket. To determine the collection that the images go to, the collection ID will show up along with the subject ID when the system does the search.
- Select "View My Basket".
- On the next page, you need not check any boxes unless you wish to remove a series from your basket. In that case, you would select the box and then click on the Remove Selected Items button at the top.
- Click on the Download Manager link and Site. The Summary tab shows updated pie charts and the number of image series in the search results.
- Click the Search Results tab.
- Click a Subject ID link to open all series associated with that subject.
Click the cart icon for one or more series. If you select only some of the series, the cart turns yellow. If you select all of the series, the cart turns green. The number of image series in your cart also appears next to the cart.
The cart itself, in the upper-right of the window, shows how many image series are in it and how large the download will be.
A message appears reminding you to download the NBIA Data Retriever. If you have already downloaded it, click Do not show this message again and click . Otherwise, click to go to a page with links for downloads for each operating system.
- Open the
manifest-xxx.tciafile in the NBIA Data Retriever. For more information on the NBIA Data Retriever, see NBIA Data Retriever FAQ. Also see question #1 in the previous section.
2. How do I search images?
The National Biomedical Imaging Archive (NBIA) software enables searching for images in TCIA’s local in vivo image repository. See Chapter 2 of For simple searches, see Performing a Simple Search. For text searches, see Performing a Text Search (these links are in the TCIA User's Guide for ) for more detailed instructions.
3. What if my image search comes up empty?
If your query is too restrictive, the search will return no results. Try starting with one criterion and add additional criteria one at a time to refine your search.
4. How do I manage and view images in my
As you review search results in TCIA, you can add items at any level to your data basket cart for subsequent download. See Chapter 3 of the TCIA User's Guide for detailed instructionsYou can then view subject details, thumbnails of the image series, and DICOM headers.
Can I share the data in my cart?
Once you have added data to your cart, you can share it as a URL to a static set of data. When you or a colleague opens the URL in a browser window, the new TCIA Graphical User Interface (GUI) opens to the cart page.
6. What if I have a question pertaining to
sharing a query?
You can save your query for later use or share it with a colleague by email.
7. How do I search for images showing a particular disease?
Collection descriptions provide information about what disease was studied. On the Search Images page, scroll down to the collections block and click on the question mark to the left of the collection name. Click to see a brief description of the collection; it will usually have pointers to a site where more detailed information about the collection is available.
8. How do I search for images if I know the patient (subject) ID?
The NBIA software enables you to search for images in TCIA's image repository in a variety of ways. Although searching for a particular collection is the most common, you can also search for the images belonging to one or more subjects. Simply start on the Search page and enter one or more subject ID strings, separated by commas.
Questions about Downloading Images
1. How do I download images in JPEG, TIFF, or BMP rather than DICOM format?
The Download Manager permits downloading of DICOM images only. To capture a large number of images, download them in DICOM and then reference the websites below for assistance with utilities that will convert DICOM images to other formats.
To download only a single image (or a handful of images one at a time):
- In the NBIA application, choose a study and series, then Show Images;
- Right-click over the image and Save Picture As .(jpeg).
2. How do I download annotated image files?
The .XML files are in the series folder since they are related to the images in that series. You can find the annotated files by viewing the list of files in a given folder.
3. What Java version is required for Download Manager?
Java version 6 or higher of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) must be installed to be able to open the Download Manager. See Chapter 3 of the TCIA User's Guide for more information.
4. What if I receive an error message from Download Manager or Download Manager hangs?
The number of series that can be downloaded using Download Manager is dependent on several factors: average image size, RAM on your computer, and Java limitations. If you experience issues or errors associated with the download, reduce the number of series in your basket and try again.
5. I am behind a proxy server, will Download Manager work?
Accessing TCIA’s Download Manager directly through a proxy server is currently not supported. If your only access to the Internet is through a proxy server, our current recommendation is to ask your IT Department to allow your workstation to bypass the proxy server for direct access to https://public.cancerimagingarchive.net/ncia.
Java may be configured to utilize proxy settings; however, the developers of NBIA have not tested whether Download Manager correctly handles such settings.
6. Does Download Manager work with any browser?
Theoretically, yes. However, we principally test with Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. We also test with Safari (the default browser on most Macs), and it did work up to version delivered on Mac OS X version 10.8.3 (Mountain Lion). After 10.8.3, Safari will silently download the JNLP file used to launch the Download Manager, but will not automatically start the Download Manager program. Safari does not give the user any warning, so to the casual user it appears that the Download Manager link is broken. One has to go to the Downloads folder, find the JNLP file just downloaded, and then command | control | right click the JNLP file and select "Run" from the pop-up context menu to start the Download Manager.
7. Are there operating system requirements for Download Manager?
In theory, the Download Manager, being Java based, will work on any operating system. However, the Mac OS X operating system has been imposing additional security requirements on Java Web Start programs, such as the Download Manager, which make it difficult to run them without having administrative access to the Mac. In particular, the Gatekeeper function in 10.8.4 (Mountain Lion) and later versions of Mac OS X by default blocks starting third party programs that have not been either obtained from the Apple App store, or that have not been signed with an Apple Developer ID. This includes, naturally, Java Web Start programs such as the Download Manager. To get around this restriction, one can either change the default Gatekeeper setting, found in the Security tab of Apple System Preferences, to allow the running of 3rd party applications, or download the JNLP file used to launch the Download Manager, and then command | control | right click the JNLP file and select "Run" from the pop-up context menu. Note that either method requires either having administrative access to the Mac OS, or knowing the username/password of an administrator account, since the Mac will prompt for this information.
8. What if I am unable to download images through Download Manager and receive an error message in the status bar?
Our support team needs the following information to perform additional troubleshooting:
1. A screen capture of the error message.
2. A screen capture of the Java console (you may need to enable viewing the Java console using the Control Panel > Java Control Panel > Advanced > Settings: Java Console > Show Console).
3. Operating system and version.
- Windows XP: Start > Control Panel > System > General tab.
- Windows 7: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System.
4. Browser and version.
- Internet Explorer: From the menu bar, select Help > About Internet Explorer.
9. How many series can Download Manager download from a single shopping cart?
The maximum number of series that Java allows Download Manager to hold in a single shopping cart is around 3500. The number of series in your basket will display on the left navigator at the top under My Data Basket > View Contents.
10. Using the Download Manager default location for downloading files?
When downloading images the current default destination location for Windows devices is a path that is not visible and writeable. Our suggestion is to create a new folder perhaps under the My Documents structure.
Questions about the TCGA-related imaging data
How do I find additional information about brain tumors?
Please refer to The Cancer Genome Atlas-Glioblastoma Multiforme (TCGA-GBM) collection for well-documented brain-tumor images as described here: https://wiki.cancerimagingarchive.net/display/Public/TCGA-GBM. (This wiki page also links to pages describing related research activities and related resources.)
The TCGA-Lower Grade Glioma (LGG) collection is another set of brain tumor images: TCGA-LGG.
Questions about Tumors
Do the exams in TCIA show both malignant and benign tumors?
All patients who are part of TCIA at this time are cancer-positive by definition. We have no collections of non-malignant tumors or healthy patients. The only exception would be patients with multiple tumors who might have a benign tumor in addition to a malignant tumor, but at least one tumor will be malignant in each patient.
Questions about Limited Access Collections
How do I access National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) data?
Access to NLST images and data requires approval of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For details, please see: https://biometry.nci.nih.gov/cdas/studies/nlst.
MRI Basic Science and Abbreviations
Study materials for physicists and other clinical scientists learning the basics of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): http://www.revisemri.com. Abbreviations only: http://www.revisemri.com/questions/misc/mri_abbrev
The site gives me problems, and error windows have popped up while I am trying to search or download images.
Our technical support team may ask you to answer these three questions if you're having difficulty with our website:
Which operating system are you using? (Typical examples would be Windows8, Mac OSX, Redhat Linux)
- Which browser (and version of that browser) are you using? (Typical examples would be Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome)
- Is Java installed on your machine, (and which version of that java are you using)? (Typical example would be yes, Java7 (u67))
To find your OS, browser, and java version, you may find the guide at Discover your OS Browser and Java Version helpful. The next step would be to test the site (but not necessarily click "download my basket") on another machine like a home laptop, to see if perhaps your institution has set, for example, a special layer of security on its network. The next step would be to email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment for a webex teleconference with our technical support team to work with you interactively to facilitate access.