A Review of the Existing Grading Schemes and a Proposal for a Modified Grading Scheme for Prostatic Lesions in TRAMP Mice

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The transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) model is well established and offers several advantages for the study of chemopreventive agents, including its well-defined course of disease progression and high incidence of poorly differentiated carcinomas within a relatively short length of time. However, there is no consensus on the grading of prostatic lesions in these mice. In particular, agreement is lacking on the criteria for differentiating prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) from well-differentiated adenocarcinoma, specifically as it relates to evidence of invasion. This differentiation is critical for evaluating the effects of putative chemopreventive agents on progression to neoplasia. Moreover, only one of the published grading schemes assigns numerical grades to prostatic lesions, which facilitate statistical analysis. Here, we review five currently available grading schemes and propose a refined scheme that provides a useful definition of invasion for the differentiation of PIN from well-differentiated adenocarcinoma and includes a numerical scoring system that accounts for both the most severe and most common histopathological lesions in each of the lobes of the prostate and their distributions. We expect that researchers will find this refined grading scheme to be useful for chemoprevention studies in TRAMP mice.

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