Skip to Content
Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP)
Contact DTP
Show menu
Search this site
Last Updated: 01/31/24

Distribution — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) received related to obtaining compounds from the NCI/DTP Open Chemicals Repository.

What is an “Open” Compound?

We refer to “Open” compounds as agents that have structures which are in the public domain. Please note that not all Open compounds are available for distribution from the NCI/DTP Open Chemicals Repository.

How does one acknowledge the NCI's contribution in a manuscript or other publication?

Investigators shall add the following statement to the acknowledgement section of their publication:

"The PI wishes to thank the National Cancer Institute Developmental Therapeutics Program (NCI/DTP) for providing compounds that were used in this (poster, manuscript, presentation, etc.). Specifically, NSC #: X, Y, Z , etc."

I submitted a request for a certain NSC, and irrespective of the amount, I always get a response that the amount I want to order is “not available.” What does this mean?

Unfortunately, the compound is no longer available and there are no plans to re-acquire.

I have not received any confirmation that my order was received. Why is that the case?

Once your compound request is completed, the requesting investigator will receive an auto-email from our system with the order/compound request number. If you have not received an auto-confirmation from our system, then it is likely that we did not receive the request. In such instances, you may want to follow up with us.

I placed an order with NCI/DTP for compounds quite some time ago, but I have not received the samples.

It is often the case where the requesting investigators’ Signatory Authority has not approved the request internally. Therefore, we are unable to process the request as the Simple Letter of Agreement (SLA) stipulating the terms of the use, etc. of the material has not yet been accepted. Please check with your Technology Transfer Office or legal department to make sure that your order has been approved internally.

I placed an order for gram quantities of a certain NSC, but received substantially less material. Why is that the case?

Our process is such that each submission for material from our repository is regarded as a request. There are no assurances that the requested amount will be supplied, but we do our best to accommodate the requested amounts based on various factors; and one of which is the information provided by researchers in the "assay description" field justifying the quantities being sought. In instances where substantial amounts of material are being requested (an amount that would exceed an amount necessary for typical in vitro studies), we require significant experimental details to justify the release of considerable quantities of material from the NCI/DTP Open Chemicals Repository. More specifically, we would like to see specifics regarding the dosing schedule, number of animals being used, background information, etc.

I need to change my Signatory Authority on my order. How do I do this after my order has been placed?

The online order authorization application allows you to change the authorization contact information.

Go to the application at the URL listed below:

Type the e-mail address of the contact you originally listed:

Click the ‘Change Representative’ button and input the correct contact information.

What is the purity of the compounds that I am requesting?

The compounds from the NCI/DTP Open Chemicals Repository have been donated from various sources. The chemical structures of these substances are those assigned by the originator of the material, and in the vast majority of cases, the compounds have not been re-analyzed by DTP for accuracy of structure or for the purity of the sample. Due to confidentiality, we are unable to disclose the sources/originators of the supplied agents.

How long will it take for me to receive the compounds?

Compounds are shipped no later than 10-12 business days from the time your active, approved request (by the requesting institution/organization) is received in our queue. However, delays could be experienced as a result of not having the compound request approved internally by your Signatory Authority. There are also instances where some countries require significant paperwork on our end, which could delay your shipment.

Why did I not receive all of the compounds that I ordered?

  • Depending on your country’s designations of certain agents, some compounds may be classified as “dangerous goods” and we cannot ship those materials.

  • We may not have the inventory of the compound.

I placed an order previously under a different SLA. Can I order more material under that SLA?

No. Our system is setup to recognize each complete submission as a unique order.

I work for a commercial/for-profit organization. Can I order compounds from the NCI/DTP Open Chemicals Repository?

Yes, however please note that the SLA prohibits the sale of the immediate data or the compounds obtained from the NCI/DTP Open Chemical Repository.

We would like to publish the data from compounds obtained from the NCI/DTP. How should we proceed?

We ask that the NCI be acknowledged as the source of the agents. For publications that resulted from the use of our agents, we ask that you please acknowledge: National Cancer Institute (NCI)/Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD)/Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) and reference our website:

How do I find out status of my order?

Once you have successfully completed the ordering process our system will provide you with a summary of your order with an order/compound request number. If you have not received your compounds within 10 business days, and would like to determine the status of your order, please send us a query with the provided order number as this will expedite our response time. If you do not have an order number, but are certain that your order has been placed, please send us the name of the requesting investigator and the date requested.

How do I determine if NCI/DTP has a compound in the Open Chemicals Repository?

Please visit the following link: and search by NSC number or chemical name.

What solvent should I use to dissolve my compounds?

We do not offer advice on the solvents that investigators should utilize in their specific assays. However, the majority of compounds tested in the NCI60 assay are dissolved in DMSO.