Insight into bladder cancer care: study protocol of a large nationwide prospective cohort study (BlaZIB)

BMC Cancer. 2020 May 20;20(1):455. doi: 10.1186/s12885-020-06954-7.


Background: Despite the embedding of bladder cancer management in European guidelines, large variation in clinical practice exists for applied diagnostics and treatments. This variation may affect patients' outcomes including complications, disease recurrence, progression, survival, and health-related quality of life (HRQL). Lack of detailed clinical data and HRQL data hampers a comprehensive evaluation of bladder cancer care. Through prospective data registration, this study aims to provide insight in bladder cancer care in the Netherlands and to identify barriers and modulators of optimal bladder cancer care.

Methods: This study is a nationwide prospective cohort study including all patients who were newly diagnosed with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (HR-NMIBC; Tis and/or T1, N0, M0/x) or non-metastatic muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC; ≥T2, N0/x-3, M0/x) in the Netherlands between November 1st 2017 and October 31st 2019. Extensive data on patient- and tumor characteristics, diagnostics, treatment and follow-up up to 2 years after diagnosis will be collected prospectively from electronic health records in the participating hospitals by data managers of the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR). Additionally, patients will be requested to participate in a HRQL survey shortly after diagnosis and subsequently at 6, 12 and 24 months. The HRQL survey includes six standardized questionnaires, e.g. SCQ Comorbidity score, EQ-5D-5 L, EORTC-QLQ-C30, EORTC-QLQ-BLM30, EORTC-QLQ-NMIBC24 and BCI. Variation in care and deviation from the European guidelines will be assessed through descriptive analyses and multivariable multilevel analyses. Survival analyses will be used to assess the association between variation in care and relevant outcomes such as survival.

Discussion: The results of this observational study will guide modifications of clinical practice and/or adaptation of guidelines and may set the agenda for new specific research questions in the management of bladder cancer.

Trial registration: Retrospectively registered in the Netherlands Trial Register. Trial identification number: NL8106. Registered on October 22nd 2019.

Keywords: Bladder cancer; Guidelines; Prospective cohort study; Quality of care; Quality of life; Study protocol.

MeSH terms

  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment / standards*
  • Netherlands
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*