Molecular pathology of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia: Challenges and opportunities

Levent Trabzonlu, Ibrahim Kulac, Qizhi Zheng, Jessica L. Hicks, Michael C. Haffner, William G. Nelson, Karen S. Sfanos, Onur Ertunc, Tamara L. Lotan, Christopher M. Heaphy, Alan K. Meeker, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Angelo M. De Marzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A better understanding of the early stages of prostate cancer initiation, potentially arising from precursor lesions, may fuel development of powerful approaches for prostate cancer prevention or interception. The best-known candidate for such a precursor lesion has been referred to as high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN). Although there is significant evidence supporting the notion that such HGPIN lesions can give rise to invasive adenocarcinomas of the prostate, there are also numerous complicating considerations and evidence that cloud the picture in many instances. Notably, recent evidence has suggested that some fraction of such lesions that are morphologically consistent with HGPIN may actually be invasive carcinomas masquerading as HGPIN—a state that we term “postinvasive intraepithelial carcinoma” (PIC). Although the prevalence of such PIC lesions is not fully understood, this and other factors can confound the potential of identifying prostate precursors that can be targeted for disease prevention, interception, or treatment. Here, we review our current understanding of the morphological and molecular pathological features of prostate cancer precursor lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbera030403
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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