"No cancer therapy is developed today without the genomic knowledge that ICGC provided to the world."

The ICGC, established in 2007, aimed to define the genomes of 25,000 primary untreated cancers (the 25K Initiative). The ICGC solved numerous data governance, ethical and logistical challenges to make global genomic data sharing for cancer possible, providing the international community with comprehensive genomic data for many cancer types.

The second ICGC Initiative, the Pan Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG), known as the Pan-Cancer Project, defined similarities and differences between cancer types. Based on this information, the next project of the ICGC is addressing key clinical questions to Accelerate Research in Genomic Oncology (The ARGO Project). You can read more about the ICGC-ARGO project at www.icgc-argo.org.

To learn more about the Pan-Cancer Project and the ICGC-ARGO Project watch this video.



  • 05/February/2020 - An international team has completed the most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes to date, significantly improving our fundamental understanding of cancer and signposting new directions for its diagnosis and treatment.

    The ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Project (PCAWG), known as the Pan-Cancer Project, a collaboration involving more than 1,300 scientists and clinicians from 37 countries, analyzed more than 2,600 genomes of 38 different tumour types, creating a huge resource of primary cancer genomes. This was then the launch-point for 16 working groups studying multiple aspects of cancer’s development, causation, progression and classification.

    Previous studies focused on the 1 per cent of the genome that codes for proteins, analogous to mapping the coasts of the continents. The Pan-Cancer Project explored in considerably greater detail the remaining 99 per cent of the genome, including key regions that control switching genes on and off -- analogous to mapping the interiors of continents versus just their coastlines.

    The Pan-Cancer Project has made available a comprehensive resource for cancer genomics research, including the raw genome sequencing data, software for cancer genome analysis, and multiple interactive websites exploring various aspects of the Pan-Cancer Project data: PCAWG Portal (dcc.icgc.org/pcawg); UCSC Xena (pcawg.xenahubs.net); Expression Atlas (www.ebi.ac.uk/gxa/home); PCAWG-Scout (pcawgscout.bsc.es); Chromothripsis Explorer (compbio.med.harvard.edu/chromothripsis).
  • 16/May/2018 - The ICGC Secretariat was based at the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research in Toronto since its inception and its base of operations has now moved to The University of Glasgow, located in the City of Glasgow in the United Kingdom under the leadership of its new Executive Director, and Chairman, Professor Andrew Biankin.
  • 17/November/2017 - The ICGC Data Coordination Center (DCC) is pleased to announce ICGC data portal data release 26 (http://dcc.icgc.org).

    ICGC data release 26 in total comprises data from more than 17,000 cancer donors spanning 76 projects and 21 tumour sites.
  • 18/May/2017 - The ICGC Data Coordination Center (DCC) is pleased to announce ICGC data portal data release 24 (http://dcc.icgc.org).

    ICGC data release 24 in total comprises data from more than 17,000 cancer donors spanning 76 projects and 21 tumour sites.
  • 17/April/2016 - ICGCmed is pleased to announce the release of its white paper (http://icgcmed.org).

    The International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed) will link genomics data to clinical information, health and responses to therapies.
  • 18/November/2015 - The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) PanCancer dataset generated by the PanCancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) study is now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving cancer researchers access to over 2,400 consistently analyzed genomes corresponding to over 1,100 unique ICGC donors (https://icgc.org/icgc-in-the-cloud).


  • Currently, the ICGC has received commitments from funding organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America for 88 project teams in 17 jurisdictions to study over 25,000 tumor genomes. Projects that are currently funded are examining tumors affecting: the biliary tract, bladder, blood, bone, brain, breast, cervix, colon, eye, head and neck, kidney, liver, lung, nasopharynx, oral cavity, ovary, pancreas, prostate, rectum, skin, soft tissues, stomach, thyroid and uterus. The genomic analyses of tumors conducted by ICGC members in Australia (ovarian and pancreatic cancer), Brazil (skin cancer), Canada (pancreatic, pediatric brain and prostate cancer), China (bladder, esophageal, gastric, lung and renal cancer), European Union/France (renal cancer), France (liver cancer), Germany (blood, brain and prostate cancer), India (oral cancer), Italy (pancreatic cancer), Japan (liver cancer), Saudi Arabia (thyroid cancer), Singapore (biliary tract cancer), South Korea (blood and lung cancer), Spain (blood cancer), the UK (blood, bone, breast, esophageal, lung, prostate and skin cancer) and the USA (bladder, blood, brain, breast, cervical, colon, gastric, head and neck, liver, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, renal, skin, thyroid and uterine cancer) are now available through the Data Coordination Center housed on the ICGC website at www.icgc.org.
  • Cover of Nature 464 International network of cancer genome projects. Nature 464, 993-998 (15 April 2010)

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