Robert McConkey & Maura Dowling

Robert McConkeyMaura Dowling


Names: Robert McConkey & Maura Dowling

Job Titles: RANP Urology & Senior Lecturer, NUI Galway

Organisation: NUI Galway

Project Title: Assessing the Impact of Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer on Quality of Life in Ireland.

Research Outline

Bladder cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat yet it is under-researched and receives an extremely low level of research funding. Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is when cancer occurs on the lining of the bladder or penetrates the layer beneath the surface. To date, less than 20% of bladder cancer research has been done on patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Many patients will receive chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments directly into their bladder for up to three years, while some undergo surgery. Common side effects of treatment can include irritation to the water passage or bladder when passing urine. In some cases, removal of the entire bladder may be required. Most of the data collection tools used in people with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer have not gone through high-level testing.

The Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Symptom Index (NMIBC-SI) is a questionnaire asking patients which outcomes are important to them. It needs extensive testing and is currently undergoing evaluation as part of an international study.

Our research project aims to join the international evaluation study and contribute to making this questionnaire one that accurately collects important concerns to patients with this type of bladder cancer. It is expected that this would lead to improvements in patient’s quality of life.