The EPIC collection of data and biological samples constitutes an outstanding resource for medical research on chronic diseases. As a publicly funded multi-centre study, EPIC wishes to ensure that those resources are being put to the best possible use. The EPIC data and biospecimens are therefore available for investigators who seek to answer important questions on health and disease in the context of research projects that are consistent with the legal and ethical standard practices of IARC/WHO and the EPIC Centres (ECs).The EPIC study is governed by the EPIC Steering Committee (EPIC SC) and the IARC Ethics Committee (IEC), as well as the institutional review boards of the ECs. The IARC acts as custodian for the EPIC database and the majority of biospecimens (hosted by the IARC Biobank, IBB), whereas biospecimens from the Swedish and Danish centres are stored nationally. A detailed description of EPIC resources is provided on the "Study resources" section. Further details on procedures and principles for accessing EPIC resources are available here.
- EPIC Centre (EC): the original recruitment of study participants to the EPIC cohort was conducted by 23 ECs from 10 European countries. The ECs remain the owners of all data and biospecimens, as well as any derived data related to their recruited study participants.
- EPIC Steering Committee (EPIC SC): the EPIC study is governed by the EPIC SC with representation from IARC, Imperial College London, and the ECs, with a specific responsibility of coordinating research activities and the use of EPIC resources.
- The IARC Biobank (IBB): the IBB is a centralized biological resource storage facility that harbours the majority of EPIC biospecimens collected by the ECs (http://ibb.iarc.fr/).
- The Laboratory Services and Biobank Group (LSB): LSB is responsible for the management of the IBB. The Group also provides services in pre-analytical sample processing and shipment.
- Biospecimens: include human tissues, cells, biological fluids/derived products and associated sample quality data. This includes DNA, plasma and serum samples from the EPIC biorepository.
- Associated data: include anonymized data associated with biological samples, sample annotations, and data on sample quality.
- IARC Ethics Committee (IEC): the role of the IEC is to provide ethical evaluation of all EPIC projects within its competence (http://ethics.iarc.fr/).
- Investigator: the investigator is a scientist affiliated with a public research institution/organization based in any country who is applying to access EPIC data and/or biospecimens for the purpose of research.
- User: the user is an investigator who has received the necessary approvals to access EPIC data and/or biospecimens.
- Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): the MTA is an agreement developed and signed between IARC and the host institute of the user, which governs the terms and conditions under which biospecimens and data are transferred and used, as well as how the parties will collaborate.
- Data Transfer Agreement (DTA): the DTA is an agreement developed and signed between IARC and the host institute of the user, which governs the terms and conditions under which data are transferred and used, as well as how the parties will collaborate.
- Derived data: any data arising from the use of EPIC data and/or biospecimens, including all laboratory results such as genotyping results, results of biochemical analysis, or variables derived from EPIC baseline data or follow-up information.
- Study results: all scientific results obtained from the use of EPIC data and/or biospecimens.