The Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR) initiative within the Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research at University College Dublin organised a one-day event in February 2020 to explore an innovative new approach to public and/or patient involvement. Using a ‘dragons den’ model, public and/or patient representatives invited ten research groups to pitch their proposals for tackling a particular research question or challenge. A panel of seven patients, family members, carers and patient advocates acted as ‘friendly dragons’, quizzing the researchers about various aspects of their proposals and giving the researchers invaluable insights as individuals with lived experience. Proposals presented included developing an eHealth online portal to alleviate the information deficit experienced by cancer patients and survivors; gaining feedback on a home-based device for fluid management in late-stage cancer, and improving awareness of cancer associated thrombosis.

The patient representatives were selected from nominations provided by the patient organisation relevant to this condition. The representatives were provided with a description of the role.