The CHTN was established in 1987 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in response to an increase in demand for high quality biospecimens for cancer research. Originally, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) in conjunction with the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), and The Ohio State University (OSU) with a subcontract to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio (representing the Children’s Cancer Group [CCG], now the Children’s Oncology Group [COG]) were awarded the first Cooperative Human Tissue Network grant by the NCI.
During the second funding period, 1991-1995, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) joined the CHTN and Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, became an independent group. During the third funding period, 1996-2001, the award was transferred from NDRI to the University of Pennsylvania. In the fourth funding period, 2001-2006, the University of Virginia (UVA) was added and Vanderbilt University (VU) replaced Case Western Reserve University. After a year of supplemental funding, the CHTN was refunded again for a fifth grant cycle in 2008 through 2013. The CHTN was awarded a year of supplemental funding before the sixth grant cycle was awarded for 2014-2019. Due to the type of funding the CHTN received for the past funding cycle, the name of the organization changed from Cooperative to Collaborative (CHTN).
The CHTN currently consists of the following six divisions: