Grading and Staging

Gleason System

What is the Gleason system for grading prostate cancer?

A pathologist named Gleason described the grading system for prostate cancer. The Gleason grade reflects how aggressively the prostate cancer is likely to behave.

The pathologist will look at the biopsied prostate tissue under a microscope to compare the cancerous tissue to normal prostate tissue.

How are the Grades interpreted?

If the cancerous cells appear to resemble the normal prostate tissue, they are said to be very well differentiated and considered to be Gleason grade 1 to 3. This means that the tumor is not expected to be fast growing. On the other hand, if the cells in question look fairly irregular and different from the normal prostate cells, then they are poorly differentiated, and are assigned a Gleason grade of 4 to 5. (It is rare to see a Gleason grade 1 or 2 cancer.)

The prostate cancer tissue is often made up of areas that have different grades; therefore, the pathologist will closely examine the areas that make up the largest portion of the tissue. Gleason grades are given to the two most commonly occurring patterns of cells. They will describe and rate the cancer cells in 2 ways: (1) how the cancer cells look and (2) how they are arranged together.

Once the two grades have been assigned, a Gleason score is determined. This is done by adding together the two Gleason grades. The resulting Gleason score will be a number from 2 to 10. (i.e., 3 + 4 = 7/10)

The biopsy also can give important information about whether the cancer involves small nerves within the gland (perineural invasion) and an indication of how extensive the cancer might be within the gland (number of cores positive).

Stage

Stage refers to the amount of cancer in the prostate, and whether the cancer has spread outside the gland. There are several tests that may be useful in determining tumor stage, but for most men no such tests are required. This is because the chance of finding cancer elsewhere in the body is so low for most men with early cancers of the prostate that such tests are not warranted.

A World Class Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

Events

Pars for Prostate fundraiser: September 22, 2022

The First Annual Pars for Prostate golf fundraiser in support of Prostate Cancer Foundation BC takes place September 22, 2022 at Westwood Plateau Golf Course. For information and to register please visit www.parsforprostate.ca

Dr. Black

Terry Fox Run fundraiser: September 18th, 2022

The 42nd Annual Terry Fox Run is taking place on Sunday September 18, 2022. If you are able, please consider joining and/or donating to our team (tax receipts issued), raising funds for the Terry Fox Foundation's ground-breaking cancer research

Employment

Work at the Vancouver Prostate Centre

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Dr Mads Daugaard develops an AI cell analytics app which could supercharge biotechnology research

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

With just a tablespoon of blood, B.C. researchers aim to transform cancer treatment