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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;963:169-84.

Precancerous lesions and conditions of the prostate: from morphological and biological characterization to chemoprevention.

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Institute of Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology, University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy.


Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is composed of dysplastic cells with a luminal cell phenotype, expressing the androgen receptor as well as prostate-specific antigen. PIN is characterized by progressive abnormalities of phenotype that are intermediate between normal prostatic epithelium and cancer, indicating impairment of cell differentiation and regulatory control with advancing stages of carcinogenesis. High-grade PIN is considered the most likely precursor of prostatic carcinoma, according to virtually all available evidence. Androgen deprivation decreases the prevalence and extent of PIN and the degree of capillary vascularization (e.g., angiogenesis) in the surrounding stroma via suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor production. Prostatic carcinoma is also likely to arise from precursor lesions other than high-grade PIN such as low-grade PIN, atypical adenomatous hyperplasia, malignancy-associated foci, and atrophy.

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