Science for patient advocates

A study week taking patient advocates from bedside to bench

VOICE Students and Tutors 2014

I am sorry to let you know that we have with much regret decided that it will not be possible to run the VOICE course this year.  As you can imagine, the reason is solely because of the Covid-19 crisis.


We know that many of our students will be particularly vulnerable to the disease, and would in any case be unable to attend, as they will be continuing to shield.  In addition, lab work is an integral part of the course, and realistically this would be extremely difficult to organise while maintaining social distancing.    Moreover, travelling to and from London, and during the week, may well not be feasible for many students.


We understand that this will be disappointing, but we feel that we do not have an alternative. However, we intend to run the course in 2021, and will keep you informed and let you know when we have a date.



Members of ICPV are actively involved in many areas of research. To facilitate and enhance our role in these activities, members aim to understand the fundamentals of cancer, study design and current areas of controversy and research.


Much of this is gained through experience. However, working with the internationally renowned Barts Cancer Institute we have developed a tailor-made course which provides a week-long intensive training in basic cancer biology, introduction to research terminology and study design, and critical evaluation of research proposals and scientific papers. We have called this course VOICE (Vision On Information, Confidence and Engagement) Science for patient advocates. This course is unique, the only course of this type in the UK.


The next VOICE Course will be at Barts Cancer Institute  in2021. For details please download the flyer below. 



VOICE aims to give participants:

  • An introduction to basic cancer biology

This  will include sessions on what cancer is, how it is caused, how it develops and how  it is detected and treated. Course participants  will spend time in the research laboratories to help them to build their understanding.

  • An introduction to epidemiology, statistics and reading scientific papers

This  will include sessions on on understanding statistics, understanding risk, epidemiology and how to read and interpret scientific papers.


We hope that this course will give participants increased  confidence to become more effectively involved in cancer research as patient  advocates.

VOICE 2020 Information
voice flier 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [446.1 KB]
Quality Advocacy Needs Quality Education
Poster presented at NCRI 2014
ICPV NCRI 2014.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [363.5 KB]


For information on forthcoming courses please contact us.


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Save the planet and donate to ICPV - send ecards go tour Fundraising page for mor information.

VOICE 2020 - Science for Patient Advocates - cancelled

Due to COVID-10 we have had to postpone the course for 2020. Click here for more information.

FAST-Forward Trial Results

A one-week course of radiotherapy in fewer but larger daily doses was found to be as safe and effective as standard three-week therapy for women following surgery for early stage breast cancer. Trial results now published. Two ICPV members provided the PPI for this key trial. Full details can be found on the ICR Website.

ICPV Brighton Summer School Aug 2019

ICPV was once again hosted by SHORE-C at the University of Sussex. Click here for more info.

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, 2018

ICPV member Pat Fairbrother attended this event on an Alamo Foundation Scholarship. Click here to read her review.

Gap Analysis in Breast Surgery Published

The 2013 Breast Cancer Campaign gap analysis established breast cancer research priorities without a specific focus on surgical research or the role of surgeons on breast cancer research. This Review aims to identify opportunities and priorities for research in breast surgery to complement the 2013 gap analysis. Click here for more information

ICPV Review 2018
We have at last published a new edition of our review. This was achieved by a grant from Novartis. Click here for more information. 

Award for ICPV Member

Many congratulations to ICPV member Margaret Grayson. On 21 April 2018 she received the Iris Colvin Lifetime Achievement Award for Health, presented by the Women’s Forum of Northern Ireland. This is very well deserved for her tireless work in furthering cancer research especially in Northern Ireland.

Warwick Clinical Trials Course
12 members of ICPV attended a residential Clinical Trials Course at the University of Warwick from 17th to 19th April 2018. The course was run by Professor Janet Dunn and covered the different types of studies undertaken; consent; trial design; statistics and bringing a drug to market. One of the highlights of the course was a visit to the West Midlands Surgical Training Centre where delegates had the privilege of seeing real body parts and having basic anatomy explained to them by the team. The delegates would like to thank Professor Janet Dunn for her outstanding enthusiasm and for her generous hospitality.

Open letter calling on Government to prioritise interests of cancer patients in Brexit negotiations

ICPV have come together with 18 other cancer charities to put our names to an open letter to Government. We want Government to prioritise seeking continued alignment with the EU drug licensing process and Clinical Trials Regulation after Brexit. It is hoped this letter will be published in the national press in the near future.
See below to read.

Open Letter to Government
ACMC EMA letter_FINAL v2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [363.5 KB]

2017 Summer School

The 2017 ICPV Summer School was held over two days in June at Stirling University. The theme of the event was Cancer Survivorship and Living Well Cancer. Click below for details of the course. More details.

VOICE 2016

A snapsot video of the the 2016 course is now available on YouTube VOICE2016

eCancer Videos

At the BACR/ECMC conference in July Maggie Wilcox and Mairead Mackenzie were persuaded to speak to the camera. Maggie gave a background to ICPV and our aims and objectives. While Mairead focused on her specific interests and activities. To view follow the links below.

Maggie Wilcox

Mairead MacKenzie

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