Policy Documents

Finalized Policy Documents for the HTAN Network:


The ten HTAN Research Centers and two pilot projects are generating a variety of datasets both as part of the development of Research Center-specific cancer atlases and as part of Trans-Network Projects involving multiple HTAN teams. Atlas datasets will include raw and processed data, clinical data, and biospecimen, experimental, and analytical metadata.

Atlas datasets will be disseminated to the public through the HTAN Data Coordinating Center and/or NCI-funded data repositories beginning in late 2019 or 2020. Please see our Dashboard page for more information on the types of experimental data being generated by each atlas team.

Metadata and Clinical Data Standards

Multiple Working Groups made up of HTAN members, NCI staff, and participants in related consortia are in the process of developing metadata and clinical data standards for HTAN that will capture the full depth and complexity of atlas datasets and will facilitate dataset discovery and integration. Rather than develop new standards, HTAN Working Groups are aiming to adopt and, as needed, adapt and expand upon the efforts of related initiatives, such as the Human Cell Atlas and the Genomic Data Commons. The resulting HTAN standards will ensure that atlas datasets are extensively and consistently annotated regarding sample and disease characteristics as well as methodological approaches. At the same time, HTAN standards will ensure that these datasets are discoverable and accessible for scientific discovery within the larger cancer data ecosystem. All HTAN standards will be released to the public as they become available.

Experimental and Analytical Methods

HTAN is committed to the development and dissemination to the scientific community of novel experimental and analytical methods and tools for both established and emerging experimental modalities. Network members are leveraging for collaborative development and Рin the future Рpublic release of protocols, such as SOPs for biospecimen handling and processing.  Additional community resources, such as Github and Dockstore, will be used for the release of computational code and analytical tools created as part of the HTAN initiative.