He argues that the best ideas will come from patients and carers who have been affected by the disease themselves. He explains how a panel of patients have been asked to choose which researchers' ideas should be taken forward. Likewise, patients' ideas have been put forward and selected by researchers.
Most of the issues raised by patients are the simple day-to-day quality of life issues, he says. For example, spending time travelling back and fourth to the hospital or sitting in waiting rooms because of late appointments is a big concern for cancer patients, especially those with a bleak prognosis.
He describes a new movement in which real value is being put on patients' feedback which is helping to shape the research agenda.