Terminology owner/maintenance organisation

Name, contact details, website

National Cancer Institute Enterprise Vocabulary Services

Telephone: 240-276-5541 or Toll-Free: 1-888-478-4423
Email: NCIAppSupport@nih.gov

Formal name of the code system

National Cancer Institute Metathesaurus 

Short name or abbreviation of the code system name

Technical identifier/s for the code system 

Canonical URL:

Scope/domain statement for the code system

(Official or from HTA)

The NCI Metathesaurus (NCIm) is a wide-ranging biomedical terminology database that covers most terminologies used by NCI for clinical care, translational and basic research, and public information and administrative activities.

NCIm features:
  • Maps 7,500,000 terms from more than 100 sources into 3,200,0000 biomedical concepts that represent their meaning.
  • Displays preferred terms, synonyms, definitions, and other information from each source.
  • Links to NCI Thesaurus and other related information sources.
  • More than 31,000,000 cross-links between content elements.
  • Updated frequently by a team of biomedical terminology and subject matter experts.

Link to information about the code system - including how to obtain the content


Arrangement or agreements with HL7 for use of content

Although US government funded, and therefore the "content is free to use by all" this is a metathesaurus and some of the source terminologies in the NCI-m are proprietary and may have restrictions on their use.  As a metathesaurus, content should not be used directly
Version management - timing and identification of versions

IP Information and Licensing Information

As a metathesaurus, its content should not be used directly.  Some of the source terminologies in the NCI-m are proprietary and may have restrictions on their use

HL7 users of this information - which HL7 products use this link (if known)

As a metathesaurus, its content should not be used directly

Process to request content change

Content is updated based on the additions to source terminologies rather than directly

Other useful Information

This is a metathesaurus - not a terminology per se; it maps terms from other terminologies together based on shared meaning.  

Information current as at (date)

September 2020
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1 Comment

  1. In a meeting between myself and Gilberto Fragoso on 12Mar21, he agreed with the statement that albeit a valuable resource, the NCI-M is not a terminology.  When I proposed a scenario where the HTA removed the NCI-M record from the HTA listing of external terminologies, he stated he felt there would be little consequence in that from an NCI point of view.  As such he stated he would be agreeable to that outcome should it come to pass