Oncological outcomes of cribriform histology pattern in prostate cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2023 Dec;26(4):646-654. doi: 10.1038/s41391-022-00600-y. Epub 2022 Oct 10.


Background: Changes applied to the Prostate cancer (PCa) histopathology grading, where patients with cribriform patterns (CP) may be categorized as grade group 2 and could hypothetically be surveilled. However, CP has been associated with worse oncological outcomes. The aim of our study is to systematically review and meta-analyze the available evidence on CP in PCa patients.

Methods: This analysis was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42022298473). We performed a systematic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE and Scopus using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) indexes, keyword searches, and publication types until December 2021. The search terms included: "prostate", "prostate cancer" and "cribriform". We also searched reference lists of relevant articles. Eligible studies included published journal articles that provided quantitative data on the association between cribriform patterns at radical prostatectomy and the presence of extra-prostatic extension (EPE), seminal vesicle invasion (SVI), positive surgical margins (PSM), biochemical recurrence (BCR) or cancer specific mortality (CSM).

Results: Overall, 31 studies were included for the quantitative analysis. All articles have been published during a span of 11 years (2011-2022) with a mean month of follow-up of 62.87 months. The mean quality of these studies, assessed with the Newcastle Ottawa Scale was 6.27. We demonstrated that CP was associated with greater risk of EPE (odds ratio [OR] 1.96; P < 0.0001), SVI (OR: 2.89; p < 0.01), and PSM (OR: 1.88; p < 0.0007). Our analyses showed that CP was associated with greater risk of BCR (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.14; p < 0.01) and of CSM (HR: 3.30, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: The presence of CP is associated with adverse pathology at radical prostatectomy and worse biochemical recurrence and cancer specific mortality. These results highlight the importance of a better pathologic report of CP to advise clinician for a strict follow-up in PCa patients.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Margins of Excision
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate / surgery
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatectomy / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen