Background: Prostate ducts and acini whose lumens are filled with malignant cells represent a well-recognized histological pattern recently termed intraductal carcinoma of the prostate (IDC-P). These tumors are often associated with rapid disease progression, and most recur after radical surgery. Controversy exists as to whether IDC-P should be recognized as a separate entity, an extension of high-grade dysplasia (PIN) or invasive carcinoma as described by the Gleason grading system. This study investigates the use of molecular markers in defining the position of IDC-P in the evolutionary hierarchy of prostate cancer progression.
Methods: IDC-P, high-grade dysplasia, and invasive cancers from a cohort of 20 selected radical prostatectomy specimens were screened for loss of heterozygosity (LOH), using 12 polymorphic microsatellite markers frequently lost in prostate cancer.
Results: LOH was absent in Gleason grade 3 cancer, infrequent in high-grade dysplasia (9%) and Gleason grade 4 cancer (29%), but common in IDC-P (60%). In IDC-P, and to a lesser extent Gleason grade 4 cancers, multiple sites of allelic loss in individual cases were usual.
Conclusions: Allelic instability provides further evidence that IDC-P is not a simple extension of dysplasia, nor does it represent invasion of Gleason grade 3 cancers into the ductal/acinar system. IDC-P and Gleason grade 4 cancer represent late but possibly separate events in prostate cancer evolution.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.