A unique resource for well-annotated cancer clinical trial biospecimens to enable biomarker discovery and improve cancer treatment.

Who We Are

The National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Biospecimen Banks (NCTN Biobanks) receive, store, and distribute human biospecimens collected on NCTN clinical trials. NCTN Biobanks provide cancer researchers with quality, well-annotated biospecimens with associated clinical information. Requests for NCTN Biospecimens from completed NCTN clinical trials may be submitted by investigators in the research community, not only members of the NCTN Groups.

About the NCTN Biobanks

THE NCTN Biobanks receive, store, and distribute biospecimens for the five NCTN Groups as well as the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG):

Logo of NRG Oncology
Logo of Children's Oncology Group
Logo of Alliance
Logo of SWOG
Canadian Cancer Trial Groups

Collectively, the NCTN Biobanks house solid tumor biospecimens from all organ types, as well as hematological malignancies.

Biospecimen types available include, but are not limited to:

  1. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue
  2. Fresh frozen tissue
  3. Whole blood, serum, plasma, white blood cells, bone marrow and cells
  4. Nucleic acids
  5. Urine, stool
  6. Digital Images from H&E or IHC stained slides


Notable publications illustrating the important scientific contributions resulting from the use of NCTN Biobank resources.

Biospecimen Access

Biospecimens from completed NCTN clinical trials can be requested either via NCTN Navigator or the NCTN Group’s Biospecimen Access process. In both instances, investigators will be provided with a feasibility assessment and cost estimate upon review of the request.

NCTN biospecimens are available to investigators from the cancer research community based on a review and approval by the NCTN Core Correlative Sciences Committee (NCTN-CCSC).

How to Access Biospecimens

Investigators should first check if the samples they are interested in are available in Navigator, if not, they should then contact the NCTN groups

NCTN Navigator

NCTN Navigator is limited to biospecimens collected from NCTN trials that were:

  • phase 2/3, phase 3, or large biospecimen collection protocols with clinical data;
  • activated 1995 or later (with some exceptions); and
  • completed with the primary outcome reported.

Information about the NCTN Navigator process is available on the NCTN Navigator website. Detailed instructions and important information about the request process are provided in the NCTN Navigator FAQs

Information about the scientific review process for proposals submitted through NCTN Navigator is available on the NCTN Core Correlative Sciences Committee (NCTN-CCSC) website. 

NCTN Groups

Biospecimens not available via NCTN Navigator may be requested through the NCTN Group. Please refer to the appropriate NCTN Group for additional information.

In general, the NCTN Group process mirrors that of NCTN Navigator. Briefly, investigators are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for Group feasibility assessment. If the LOI is feasible, investigators will be required to complete a proposal packet for scientific review by the NCI.

Note: If requesting biospecimens from more than one trial and at least one trial is in NCTN Navigator, then the entire request must be submitted through NCTN Navigator.

Additional Resources