As in previous years, we welcomed cancer patients - both current and survivors - as well as advocates with charities and smaller networks, to learn about basic cell biology and cancer development.
The aim of this is to empower patients without a scientific background or detailed current knowledge to better support their networks and contribute to wider discussions and policies.
Student and patient Annie Mulholland wrote for Health Unlocked:
"The course is run by a group of amazing people who encourage patients to understand more about cancer."
She also wrote for Target Ovarian Cancer:
"The staff at Barts Cancer Institute were overwhelmingly generous with their time and patience... the week was absolutely packed with fascinating theory and practical sessions"
Annie and fellow student Jan also spoke to the Charity about the course:
The intensive programme of five full days' lectures and practical sessions was broken up with social activities.
This included a charity quiz to raise money for the programme, supported by generous donations from the Hackney Brewery and East London Brewing Company. VOICE students teamed up with BCI researchers to tackle the trivia and win prizes.
Prof Sir Mike Richards also honoured us with a guest lecture on his own journey from oncologist to an influencer of government policy, assessing the challenges facing cancer treatment centres in our NHS hospitals and working out how to measure successes and push for improvement.
On the third day, the group took a tour around the Charterhouse, our elite and historic neighbours, who will soon be opening to the public so that its cultural heritage can be more widely enjoyed.
Our Professor Louise Jones demonstrated how pathology is key in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, demonstrating how biopsied tissue is received, prepared and stored. The sensitively-delivered session shows how pathologists' judgement and access to tissue is vital to patient care.
"It really is an opportunity of a lifetime."
With thanks to ICPV, all of our facilitators and our students, and Ruth McLaren Consulting.