Controversial issues in Gleason and International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) prostate cancer grading: proposed recommendations for international implementation

John R. Srigley, Brett Delahunt, Hemamali Samaratunga, Athanase Billis, Liang Cheng, David Clouston, Andrew Evans, Bungo Furusato, James Kench, Katia Leite, Gregory MacLennan, Holger Moch, Chin Chen Pan, Nathalie Rioux-Leclercq, Jae Ro, Jonathan Shanks, Steven Shen, Toyonori Tsuzuki, Murali Varma, Thomas WheelerJohn Yaxley, Lars Egevad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The Gleason Grading system has been used for over 50 years to prognosticate and guide the treatment for patients with prostate cancer. At consensus conferences in 2005 and 2014 under the guidance of the International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP), the system has undergone major modifications to reflect modern diagnostic and therapeutic practices. The 2014 consensus conference yielded recommendations regarding cribriform, mucinous, glomeruloid and intraductal patterns, the most significant of which was the removal of any cribriform pattern from Gleason grade 3. Furthermore, a Gleason score grouping system was endorsed which consisted of five grades where Gleason score 6 (3+3) was classified as grade 1 which better reflected the mostly indolent behaviour of these tumours. Another issue discussed at the meeting and subsequently endorsed was that in Gleason score 7 cases, the percentage pattern 4 should be recorded. This is especially important in situations where modern active surveillance protocols expand to include men with low volume pattern 4. While major progress was made at the conference, several issues were either not resolved or not discussed at all. Most of these items relate to details of assignment of Gleason score and ISUP grade in specific specimen types and grading scenarios. This detailed review looks at the 2014 ISUP conference results and subsequent literature from an international perspective and proposes several recommendations. The specific issues addressed are percentage pattern 4 in Gleason score 7 tumours, percentage patterns 4 and 5 or 4/5 in Gleason score 8–10 disease, minor (≤5%) high grade patterns when either 2 or 3 patterns are present, level of reporting (core, specimen, case), dealing with grade diversity among site (highest and composite scores) and reporting scores in radical prostatectomy specimens with multifocal disease. It is recognised that for many of these issues, a strong evidence base does not exist, and further research studies are required. The proposed recommendations mostly reflect consolidated expert opinion and they are classified as established if there was prior agreement by consensus and provisional if there was no previous agreement or if the item was not discussed at prior consensus conferences. For some items there are reporting options that reflect the local requirements and diverse practice models of the international urological pathology community. The proposed recommendations provide a framework for discussion at future consensus meetings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-473
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Gleason
  • ISUP grade
  • International Society of Urological Pathology
  • Prostate adenocarcinoma
  • grading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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