TCGA Cancers Selected for Study

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) selected the following cancers for study based on specific criteria that include:

  • Poor prognosis
  • Overall public health impact
  • Availability of samples meeting standards for patient consent
  • Availability of samples meeting standards for quality and quantity that include:
    • Primary, untreated tumor with a source of matched normal tissue or blood sample
    • Frozen, sufficiently sized, resection samples
    • Samples composed of at least 80% tumor nuclei (threshold later lowered to 60% with improved sequencing technology and computational methods)
  • With support from patients, patient advocacy groups, and doctors, many rare cancers were also included

As the program has completed, TCGA is no longer accepting samples for characterization. NCI's Biorepositories & Biospecimens Research Branch offers more information and opportunities for donating blood, tissues, and other biospecimens.

Unfortunately, TCGA cannot accomodate requests for analytes or tissue.

Below is the list of cancers selected for study by TCGA. For each cancer type, TCGA published a so-called "marker paper": an overview of the characterizations performed and an initial analysis of the data.

TCGA's Cancers Selected for Study
Cancer Type Studied Number of Cases Studied Publication
Breast Ductal Carcinoma 784 Nature 2012
Thyroid Carcinoma 496 Cell 2014
Ovarian Serous Adenocarcinoma 489 Nature 2011
Clear Cell Renal Cell (Kidney) Carcinoma 446 Nature 2013
Endometrial (Uterine) Carcinoma 373 Nature 2013
Hepatocellular (Liver) Carcinoma 363 Cell 2017
Prostate Carcinoma 333 Cell 2015
Cutaneous (Skin) Melanoma 331 Cell 2015
Gastric (Stomach) Adenocarcinoma 295 Nature 2014
Lower Grade Glioma 293 NEJM 2015
Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma 279 PNAS 2014Nature 2015
Colorectal Adenocarcinoma 276 Nature 2012
Lung Adenocarcinoma 230 Nature 2014
Cervical Cancer 228 Nature 2017
Glioblastoma Multiforme 206 Nature 2008, Cancer Cell 2010, Cell 2013
Soft Tissue Sarcoma 206 Cell 2017
Breast Lobular Carcinoma 203 Cell 2015
Acute Myeloid Leukemia 200 NEJM 2013
Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma 178 Nature 2012
Paraganglioma & Pheochromocytoma 173 Cancer Cell 2017
Esophageal Carcinoma 164 Nature 2017
Papillary Renal Cell (Kidney) Carcinoma 161 NEJM 2016
Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma 150 Cancer Cell 2017
Testicular Germ Cell Cancer 150 Cell Reports 2018
Urothelial Bladder Carcinoma 131 Nature 2014, Cell 2017
Thymoma 124 Cancer Cell 2018
Adrenocortical Carcinoma 91 Cancer Cell 2016
Mesothelioma 87 Cancer Discovery 2018
Uveal (Eye) Melanoma 80 Cancer Cell 2017
Chromophobe Renal Cell (Kidney) Carcinoma 66 Cancer Cell 2014
Uterine Carcinosarcoma 57 Cancer Cell 2017
Cholangiocarcinoma 38 Cell Reports 2017

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