Essential Updates in Grading, Morphotyping, Reporting, and Staging of Prostate Carcinoma for General Surgical Pathologists

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019 May;143(5):550-564. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2018-0334-RA. Epub 2019 Mar 13.


Context.—: Within this decade, several important updates in prostate cancer have been presented through expert international consensus conferences and influential publications of tumor classification and staging.

Objective.—: To present key updates in prostate carcinoma.

Data sources.—: The study comprised a review of literature and our experience from routine and consultation practices.

Conclusions.—: Grade groups, a compression of the Gleason system into clinically meaningful groups relevant in this era of active surveillance and multidisciplinary care management for prostate cancer, have been introduced. Refinements in the Gleason patterns notably result in the contemporarily defined Gleason score 6 cancers having a virtually indolent behavior. Grading of tertiary and minor higher-grade patterns in radical prostatectomy has been clarified. A new classification for prostatic neuroendocrine tumors has been promulgated, and intraductal, microcystic, and pleomorphic giant cell carcinomas have been officially recognized. Reporting the percentage of Gleason pattern 4 in Gleason score 7 cancers has been recommended, and data on the enhanced risk for worse prognosis of cribriform pattern are emerging. In reporting biopsies for active surveillance criteria-based protocols, we outline approaches in special situations, including variances in sampling or submission. The 8th American Joint Commission on Cancer TNM staging for prostate cancer has eliminated pT2 subcategorization and stresses the importance of nonanatomic factors in stage groupings and outcome prediction. As the clinical and pathology practices for prostate cancer continue to evolve, it is of utmost importance that surgical pathologists become fully aware of the new changes and challenges that impact their evaluation of prostatic specimens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Grading / methods*
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods*
  • Pathologists
  • Pathology, Clinical / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*