Intraductal carcinoma of the prostate: precursor or aggressive phenotype of prostate cancer?

Prostate. 2013 Mar;73(4):442-8. doi: 10.1002/pros.22579. Epub 2012 Sep 4.


Background: Although the term "intraductal carcinoma of the prostate" (IDC-P) was introduced almost 40 years ago, there is still the lack of appreciation that this entity represents a clinically aggressive disease that continues to be misreported under the diagnostic category of high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN).

Methods: Recent data obtained from histological, molecular, and clinical studies were reviewed to demonstrate that IDC-P significantly differs from HGPIN, and has a major impact in terms of diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of prostate cancer (PCa).

Results: HGPIN is the only accepted precursor of PCa. Its diagnosis in prostate biopsies has no prognostic implications, and does not dictate therapeutic decisions. By contrast, IDC-P correlates with a worse pathological and clinical outcome. IDC-P differs from HGPIN by distinct histological and molecular features. Recent clinical studies report that IDC-P is associated with neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and, chemotherapy (CT) failure as well as early disease recurrence after external beam radiation. Finally, IDC-P is associated with TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion, which was reported to be regulated by estrogens and their receptors.

Conclusions: IDC-P is an aggressive phenotype of prostate cancer and predicts poor response to ADT, CT, and external beam radiation. IDC-P should be separated from HGPIN and should be reported in prostate biopsies and prostatectomy specimens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Ductal / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Phenotype*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*