WHO Classification of Tumours fifth edition: evolving issues in the classification, diagnosis, and prognostication of prostate cancer

Histopathology. 2022 Oct;81(4):447-458. doi: 10.1111/his.14711. Epub 2022 Aug 2.


The fifth edition of the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Urinary and Male Genital Systems encompasses several updates to the classification and diagnosis of prostatic carcinoma as well as incorporating advancements in the assessment of its prognosis, including recent grading modifications. Some of the salient aspects include: (1) recognition that prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN)-like carcinoma is not synonymous with a pattern of ductal carcinoma, but better classified as a subtype of acinar adenocarcinoma; (2) a specific section on treatment-related neuroendocrine prostatic carcinoma in view of the tight correlation between androgen deprivation therapy and the development of prostatic carcinoma with neuroendocrine morphology, and the emerging data on lineage plasticity; (3) a terminology change of basal cell carcinoma to "adenoid cystic (basal cell) cell carcinoma" given the presence of an underlying MYB::NFIB gene fusion in many cases; (4) discussion of the current issues in the grading of acinar adenocarcinoma and the prognostic significance of cribriform growth patterns; and (5) more detailed coverage of intraductal carcinoma of prostate (IDC-P) reflecting our increased knowledge of this entity, while recommending the descriptive term atypical intraductal proliferation (AIP) for lesions falling short of IDC-P but containing more atypia than typically seen in high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN). Lesions previously regarded as cribriform patterns of HGPIN are now included in the AIP category. This review discusses these developments, summarising the existing literature, as well as the emerging morphological and molecular data that underpins the classification and prognostication of prostatic carcinoma.

Keywords: WHO Classification; pathology; prostate carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Carcinoma, Ductal* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia* / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • World Health Organization


  • Androgen Antagonists