An Integrated TCGA Pan-Cancer Clinical Data Resource to Drive High-Quality Survival Outcome Analytics

The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

382 Scopus citations


For a decade, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program collected clinicopathologic annotation data along with multi-platform molecular profiles of more than 11,000 human tumors across 33 different cancer types. TCGA clinical data contain key features representing the democratized nature of the data collection process. To ensure proper use of this large clinical dataset associated with genomic features, we developed a standardized dataset named the TCGA Pan-Cancer Clinical Data Resource (TCGA-CDR), which includes four major clinical outcome endpoints. In addition to detailing major challenges and statistical limitations encountered during the effort of integrating the acquired clinical data, we present a summary that includes endpoint usage recommendations for each cancer type. These TCGA-CDR findings appear to be consistent with cancer genomics studies independent of the TCGA effort and provide opportunities for investigating cancer biology using clinical correlates at an unprecedented scale. Analysis of clinicopathologic annotations for over 11,000 cancer patients in the TCGA program leads to the generation of TCGA Clinical Data Resource, which provides recommendations of clinical outcome endpoint usage for 33 cancer types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-416.e11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 5 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the patients who participated in this study. We are grateful for the clinical staff of TCGA Tissue Source Sites and the staff of the TCGA Biospecimen Core Resource for collecting, compiling, and processing the clinical data for TCGA that laid the foundation for this study. We thank Ms. Anupama Praveen-Kumar and Drs. Joseph Vockley and Praveen-Kumar Raj-Kumar for helpful discussions and Mr. Peter T. Hu for creating the graphical abstract. Members of the TCGA PanCanAtlas Network and especially those from the Immune Response AWG participated in discussions as the project progressed. The study was supported by W81XWH-12-2-0050, HU0001-16-2-0004 from the U.S. Department of Defense through the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine . The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the department of Army/Navy/Air Force, Department of Defense, or U.S. government. The study was also supported by the TCGA grants U54 HG003273 , U54 HG003067 , U54 HG003079 , U24 CA143799 , U24 CA143835 , U24 CA143840 , U24 CA143843 , U24 CA143845 , U24 CA143848 , U24 CA143858 , U24 CA143866 , U24 CA143867 , U24 CA143882 , U24 CA143883 , U24 CA144025 , P30 CA016672 .

Funding Information:
Michael Seiler, Peter G. Smith, Ping Zhu, Silvia Buonamici, and Lihua Yu are employees of H3 Biomedicine, Inc. Parts of this work are the subject of a patent application: WO2017040526 titled “Splice variants associated with neomorphic sf3b1 mutants.” Shouyoung Peng, Anant A. Agrawal, James Palacino, and Teng Teng are employees of H3 Biomedicine, Inc. Andrew D. Cherniack, Ashton C. Berger, and Galen F. Gao receive research support from Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Gordon B. Mills serves on the External Scientific Review Board of Astrazeneca. Anil Sood is on the Scientific Advisory Board for Kiyatec and is a shareholder in BioPath. Jonathan S. Serody receives funding from Merck, Inc. Kyle R. Covington is an employee of Castle Biosciences, Inc. Preethi H. Gunaratne is founder, CSO, and shareholder of NextmiRNA Therapeutics. Christina Yau is a part-time employee/consultant at NantOmics. Franz X. Schaub is an employee and shareholder of SEngine Precision Medicine, Inc. Carla Grandori is an employee, founder, and shareholder of SEngine Precision Medicine, Inc. Robert N. Eisenman is a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards and shareholder of Shenogen Pharma and Kronos Bio. Daniel J. Weisenberger is a consultant for Zymo Research Corporation. Joshua M. Stuart is the founder of Five3 Genomics and shareholder of NantOmics. Marc T. Goodman receives research support from Merck, Inc. Andrew J. Gentles is a consultant for Cibermed. Charles M. Perou is an equity stock holder, consultant, and Board of Directors member of BioClassifier and GeneCentric Diagnostics and is also listed as an inventor on patent applications on the Breast PAM50 and Lung Cancer Subtyping assays. Matthew Meyerson receives research support from Bayer Pharmaceuticals; is an equity holder in, consultant for, and Scientific Advisory Board chair for OrigiMed; and is an inventor of a patent for EGFR mutation diagnosis in lung cancer, licensed to LabCorp. Eduard Porta-Pardo is an inventor of a patent for domainXplorer. Han Liang is a shareholder and scientific advisor of Precision Scientific and Eagle Nebula. Da Yang is an inventor on a pending patent application describing the use of antisense oligonucleotides against specific lncRNA sequence as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Yonghong Xiao was an employee and shareholder of TESARO, Inc. Bin Feng is an employee and shareholder of TESARO, Inc. Carter Van Waes received research funding for the study of IAP inhibitor ASTX660 through a Cooperative Agreement between NIDCD, NIH, and Astex Pharmaceuticals. Raunaq Malhotra is an employee and shareholder of Seven Bridges, Inc. Peter W. Laird serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for AnchorDx. Joel Tepper is a consultant at EMD Serono. Kenneth Wang serves on the Advisory Board for Boston Scientific, Microtech, and Olympus. Andrea Califano is a founder, shareholder, and advisory board member of DarwinHealth, Inc. and a shareholder and advisory board member of Tempus, Inc. Toni K. Choueiri serves as needed on advisory boards for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Roche. Lawrence Kwong receives research support from Array BioPharma. Sharon E. Plon is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Baylor Genetics Laboratory. Beth Y. Karlan serves on the Advisory Board of Invitae.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cox proportional hazards regression model
  • TCGA
  • The Cancer Genome Atlas
  • clinical data resource
  • disease-free interval
  • disease-specific survival
  • follow-up time
  • overall survival
  • progression-free interval
  • translational research


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