• National Cancer Institute
  • National Human Genome Research Institute

Rare Tumor Characterization Projects

Historically, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has set a goal of collecting and comprehensively characterizing 500 cases for each cancer selected for study. This number of samples is sufficient to detect recurrent mutations at the high level of sensitivity that TCGA aims to achieve. However, these quantities are unachievable for some rare cancers. Considering the scarcity of available samples for these tumor types and their public health impact, TCGA has initiated several Rare Tumor Projects with the aim of characterizing at least 50 cases across 9 rare cancer types.

In this effort to examine nearly 500 rare tumor cases overall, TCGA is able to comprehensively characterize tumor types that otherwise might not have been researched.

The following rare tumor types are being characterized: