Access Process & Specimen Access Flowchart

The application and approval process is outlined in the flowchart below and includes the following steps:

  1. Visit NCTN Navigator and/or contact the NCTN Group of interest to determine availability of the biospecimens and feasibility of the proposal.Feasibility is determined by the respective NCTN Banks and the Groups’ statistical/operations offices.

  2. Completion of a NCTN-CCSC Proposal Submission Form [DOC | 200 KB]

    The requesting investigator must complete an Application, providing more detailed information about the proposed study, and submit it directly to the NCTN Group of interest that was contacted in Step 1.

  3. Review of the Application
    • The Application is reviewed for scientific merit and alignment with the NCTN Banks mission using a tiered approach.
    • The NCTN Core Correlative Sciences Committee (NCTN-CCSC) reviews the Application for scientific merit, independently from the NCTN Group.
    • Depending on the number of samples requested and the study under which the specimens were collected, review by other oversight committees, such as the NCI’s Clinical Trials Evaluation Program (CTEP) Protocol Review Committee (PRC) may also be required prior to release of specimens.
  4. Submission of Appropriate Regulatory and Legal Documentation (after approval)
    • IRB/Ethics Committee review/approval notification
    • Material Use Agreement/Material Transfer Agreement (MUA/MTA) and funding commitment
    • Statement describing potential financial conflict of interest (as outlined in the NCTN Banks MUA). Check for sample use consistent with consent form permissions, as appropriate (performed by the respective NCTN Banks)
  5. Release of biospecimens by the NCTN Banks for the approved project to the requesting investigator.

A flowchart of the GBC specimen access and approval process is provided in the diagram below.

NCTN Banks Specimen Access Flowchart


  1. Approval by other oversight committees and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) also may be required.