The CGC adheres to policies established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) for controlled data access and data release. These policies were developed to enable broad access to genomic information while protecting the rights of the individuals who donated tissue for analysis.  

Learn more about human subjects protection and informed consent:

Data hosted by the CGC are subject to both general and dataset-specific data use policies, and access to Controlled Data is restricted to authorized users. Any user who wishes to access either TCGA or TARGET Controlled Data must apply for dbGaP authorization, which is overseen by an NIH Data Access Committee (DAC). Access is granted if the request conforms to the specifications within the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy and to any program-specific requirements or procedures for a given dataset. In particular, all use of Controlled Data must be consistent with the data use limitations specified on the dbGaP website for that dataset and with the use(s) articulated by the submitting institution in its dbGaP application. 

The following summarizes the policies applicable to use of the TCGA and TARGET datasets on the CGC:

  • By using any TCGA data (inclusive of both Open and Controlled Data) on the CGC, users implicitly agree to comply with the TCGA Responsible Use Policy and Publication Guidelines. All investigators, and their institutions, seeking access to and use of TCGA Controlled Data also must acknowledge their agreement with the TCGA policies and procedures described in the Data Use Certification associated with their dbGaP application.

  • By using any TARGET Controlled Data on the CGC, users implicitly agree to comply with the TARGET Data Use Limitations, whereas users may explore TARGET Open Data on the CGC without restriction. All TARGET data users on the CGC implicitly agree to comply with the TARGET Publication Guidelines.

  • By using any Controlled Data on the CGC that are regulated by dbGaP, users further implicitly agree to comply with the dbGaP Approved User Code of Conduct.

Learn more about the policies associated with accessing Controlled Data: