Launched in September of 2018, the Human Tumor Atlas Network (HTAN) is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Cancer MoonshotSM initiative through which a collaborative network of Research Centers and a central Data Coordinating Center are constructing 3-dimensional atlases of the cellular, morphological, and molecular features of human cancers as they evolve from precancerous lesions to advanced disease. Across a diverse set of cancer types, these atlases aim to define critical processes and events throughout the life cycle of human cancers, such as the transition of pre-malignant lesions to malignant tumors, the progression of malignant tumors to metastatic cancer, tumor response to therapeutics, and the development of therapeutic resistance. The diverse set of cancer types under investigation include tumors that affect minority and underserved populations, tumors with a hereditary component, and highly aggressive pediatric cancers.
Within HTAN, ten Research Centers are working to identify the molecular and cellular conditions that cause healthy cells to become cancerous and that driver critical transitions in advanced cancers. Two atlas pilot projects – one Pre-Cancer Atlas Pilot Project (PCAPP) and one Human Tumor Atlas Pilot Project (HTAPP) – were funded previously by NCI and also are contributing data and resources to the Network. A single HTAN Data Coordinating Center (DCC) supports each of the atlas teams and the broader Network by coordinating Network activities, providing centralized resources for data and resource storage, access, and sharing, and conducting outreach to the community.