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J Urol. 1997 Jul;158(1):12-22.

The relationship between prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer: critical issues.

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Michigan Prostate Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.



Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is often considered to be a premalignant lesion and the main precursor of invasive carcinoma of the prostate. We evaluated the evidence for and against PIN as a premalignant lesion and determined guidelines for the clinical management of PIN.


Literature analysis of histopathological, morphometric, phenotypic and molecular genetic evidence of progression and of clinical findings regarding PIN was done. Literature searches were performed on MEDLINE with relevant key words.


PIN, like prostate cancer, occurs most frequently in the peripheral zone of the prostate and is usually located in close proximity to prostate cancer. The relative PIN and prostate cancer volumes vary inversely. Prostate specific antigen in cases of PIN appears to be intermediate between prostate cancer and normal levels, although this elevation may be explained by concomitant prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Deoxyribonucleic acid ploidy in PIN follows the aneuploid proportion as in the concomitant prostate cancer. Prostate cancer and PIN show evidence of loss of putative tumor suppressor genes on chromosome 8p. The clinical relevance of PIN biopsy findings is based on the association of neoplasia and prostate cancer. High grade PIN in core biopsies without concomitant prostate cancer has a substantial risk for prostate cancer in subsequent biopsies (24 to 73%, up to 100% when the digital rectal examination is suspicious) and should cause further biopsy sampling.


There is convincing evidence that PIN is a precursor lesion to prostate cancer, with a close association of PIN and prostate cancer in biopsy and prostatectomy specimens. A biopsy finding of high grade PIN necessitates further investigation in patients who are candidates for radical treatment for localized prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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