ICGC Goals, Structure, Policies and Guidelines (February 2010)

ICGC Goal: To obtain a comprehensive description of genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in 50 different tumor types and/or subtypes which are of clinical and societal importance across the globe.


A distributed model for the organization of the ICGC has been selected as most appropriate for the success of this project. This model has been successfully used in other international genome projects, where high standards and policies have been determined at the outset, and acceptance and adherence were prerequisite for joining. The model, illustrated in Figure 1, relies on the interaction among funders (providing oversight), an international scientific steering committee (setting guidelines) and scientific groups and centers (sample providers and data production centers involved in data production, quality assessment and data management). The strength of the Consortium’s structure rests not only with its component parts but also in the bi- directional flow of information between the groups.

Figure 1: Structure of Consortium

ICGC Structure

Given the diversity of organizations that will be involved in the ICGC and the fact that most are independently governed, it is understood that in addition to their participation in the Consortium most of the organizations will conduct activities in cancer and genome research that are outside the scope of the ICGC.

Last Updated on: 22 May 2012