It is a pleasure for me to draw a profile of Professor Ana Lluch, whom I have known, in a very close way, since the beginning of our professional career, and to underline her multiple merits and scientific and personal qualities. Since the beginnings of her career, Ana focused her efforts on research and knowledge of breast cancer and today she is recognised as an international authority in this field, on which she has published more than 300 specialised articles, has written more than 50 books and directed more than 20 doctoral theses. With more than 20,000 citations, her long scientific career is an example and stimulus for young researchers and requires the recognition of civil society.
“Ana knows how to transmit her enthusiasm and her vision to her work team, to which I am honoured to belong. She knows how to create a team and maintain and encourage her dedication to that Hippocratic mandate to heal whenever possible, comfort, soothe and always accompany”
Since the beginning of her professional activity, her dedication to knowing and her passion to help and serve breast cancer patients have been incessant. Nothing motivates you more than helping to alleviate suffering, comfort and give patients hope. Her vision is clear and her commitment is firm: to establish, in a public health system open to all citizens, a structure capable of minimising the effects of a disease, so that it does not alter, as far as possible, the life trajectory of those suffering from it.
According to Ana, our health system must make excellence and quality prevail in order to be able to serve citizens with maximum efficiency. Ana’s visionary ability has contributed to creating several essential pillars in the fight against cancer and, in particular, against breast cancer.
Ana knows how to transmit her enthusiasm and her vision to her work team, to which I am honoured to belong. She knows how to create a team and maintain and encourage her dedication to that Hippocratic mandate to heal whenever possible, comfort, soothe and always accompany. To achieve this goal, Ana contributes, at all times, the values of her dedication, effort, enthusiasm, knowledge and sense of responsibility.
I would not want to fail to stress enough what constitutes the most valuable essential aspect of Ana for me: her commitment to her ideas and beliefs, her overwhelming ability to put into practice what she believes is best, and her unwavering attitude of service to society. Ana is close to all those who approach her. Listen and show empathy and understanding with everyone who speak to her. She is always ready to work and to help. She is constant and persevering. She never decays. She suffers with those who suffer and rejoices with those who rejoice. She is thoughtful, intelligent, and persuasive. Knows how to distinguish between the essential and the accessory. She is naturally attracted by the good. She is not satisfied with what happens and tries to modify it. Her generosity and enthusiasm do not leave us unmoved. They provoke confidence and hope in patients, as well as security and satisfaction. In her companions and relatives, they generate passion to understand, know and serve. And, in all, respect, admiration and affection.
But, in addition, I have to say that Ana is a ‘double agent’, because not only is she an excellent doctor, dedicated and passionate about patient care, but she is also a person who exudes a scientific attitude in the genesis knowledge and in the ability to generate the relevant questions that the research has to try to answer.
Aristotle said that theory is the supreme practice. It is not only worth knowing. It is necessary to generate knowledge from clinical practice. Inquire to understand, study to improve, analyse to elucidate and bring out the truth that exists behind everything ignored. There is no good clinical practice without research. Similarly, there is no quality translational or clinical research without excellent clinical practice that puts the patient at the centre of her goals. This clinical-scientific duality so palpable in Ana is a model that we aspire to implement in our hospitals and health research institutes. We need lots of ‘double agents’, passionate clinicians and committed researchers. They will be our heroes, our invincibles, the researchers of tomorrow to guarantee a better future.
The fact of recognising and exalting the virtues of Ana underlines the importance of the values that should govern and promote coexistence. Virtue, again Aristotle, is reached only through the successive and repeated repetition of good and virtuous acts that serve the common good. Individual excellence undoubtedly propels a fuller, happier and more just society.
For all this, I want to congratulate Ana. I apologise if in this brief profile I have not been able to highlight all the founded and innumerable values that emanate from her. I am lucky to work close to her and this is for me one of the privileges that life has given me.
Dr Andrés Cervantes
INCLIVA General and Scientific Director
Head of the Medical Oncology Service of the Clinical Hospital of Valencia
President-elect of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)