How Verana Health’s New Urology Qdata Research Module Can Help Advance Treatments for Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer


Jennifer Bepple, MD, clinical advisor, Verana Health

Bladder cancer is the sixth-most common cancer in the U.S. and ninth-most common cancer in the world. In 2021, nearly 84,000 people were expected to be diagnosed with bladder cancer, according to the Urology Care Foundation. Bladder cancer is three times more likely to occur in men than women, prevalence increasing with age.   

Fortunately, 70% of all bladder cancer is diagnosed while the tumor is more superficial, described as non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Although survival rates improve with early detection, patients with high-risk disease (high grade or more advanced stage) have an overall higher mortality and require more interventions.   

Verana Health released a Urology Qdata module to advance clinical research in NMIBC. This new module offers a more comprehensive view of the patient journey through granular variables, such as initial diagnosis date, treatments, recurrences, documented T stage, and tumor grade for risk determination. These exclusive therapeutic insights can be used to help physicians and researchers better understand treatment patterns and outcomes to shape therapeutic strategies for patients with this disease. 

Qdata NMIBC is powered by the American Urological Association (AUA) Quality Registry (AQUA), which is the world’s largest clinical data registry for urology. The AQUA Registry includes eight years of longitudinal real-world data (RWD) from more than 2,100 healthcare providers and nearly 10 million patients. Our company has an exclusive partnership with the AUA to de-identify, curate, and analyze electronic health record (EHR) data from the AQUA Registry.

The earlier the better

The Qdata NMIBC module offers a view into more than 50,000 patients with NMIBC.

The Qdata NMIBC module offers a view into more than 50,000 patients with NMIBC. This module has the potential to support research efforts for the development of therapies to prevent recurrence or progression to muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). With the majority of patients with bladder cancer diagnosed at this stage, there is ample opportunity to improve outcomes for these patients.  

Until recently, researchers have relied primarily on medical claims to study the outcomes of patients with NMIBC. Unfortunately, claims data does not give a granular view into the risk of the cancer (grade and stage) and often misses treatments performed in the office. Therefore, claims data alone provide minimal insight into the progression of the disease or how it was treated.

Adding to the urgency for better treatments is the nationwide shortage of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG), an intravesical immunotherapy with antitumor activity. Because of the shortage, it is likely that some patients have had to forgo this important therapy, increasing the urgency to find new approaches to replace and augment BCG. 

Understanding the patient journey

Verana Health’s Qdata NMIBC will help provide a more detailed understanding of disease progression and recurrence. The new module consists of research-ready data documenting real-world disease, treatments, and patient outcomes. We transform data from the AQUA Registry into quality, curated real-world data through our VeraQ® population health data engine. VeraQ uses artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), to bring meaning to structured and unstructured data at scale by extracting key variables from clinical notes. With these insights, we can help paint a clearer picture of treatment patterns, treatment options, and outcomes for patients with NMIBC. This will help the medical community and life sciences organizations better understand outcomes and develop novel therapeutics to improve patient outcomes. 

The module can also help identify practices that are treating patients with specific NMIBC profiles to inform trial design.

The module can also help identify practices that are treating patients with specific NMIBC profiles to inform trial design. Further, our new module will provide a deeper understanding of the patient journey stratified by clinical characteristics, demographics, risk and recurrences. 

Qdata NMIBC is Verana Health’s second Urology Qdata module built from AQUA Registry data; we launched our first one, Qdata Prostate Cancer, in May 2022. Other data modules are planned, and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with AUA and urologists to further urological research.

Click here to learn more, or speak to a Qdata expert.

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