Ada Leonidivna Vorontsova (1934–2020)

Summary. In October 2020, passed away Ada Leonidivna Vorontsova, our esteemed colleague, well known specialist in experimental oncology, doctor of sciences in biology, professor, leading researcher, who devoted all her life to the R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radio­biology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

9027358235 Ada Leonidivna Vorontsova (1934–2020)Ada Vorontsova was born in 1934 in Kherson. In 1957, she graduated with distinction from Taras Shevchenko Kyiv State University. Since 1960, she started her scientific career at Kyiv Research Institute of Experimental and Clinical Oncology as the junior researcher. In 1965, Dr. Vorontsova defended her PhD thesis entitled “On the role of several defense reaction provided by connective tissue system in growth and resorption of Brown-Pierce carcinoma”. At the end of the 60s, Dr. Vorontsova focused on the problems of interferon and its application in oncology. Her pioneering experimental studies gave the evidence that interferon is capable of inhibiting chemically induced carcinogenesis. In fact, these findings coincided in time with the published reports from several laboratories worldwide that made a start on the interferon era in oncology building an understanding of interferon as a factor of anticarcinogenesis. Since that time, several aspects of anticarcinogenic and antitumor activities of interferon have been studied by Dr. Vorontsova and her collaborators and this line of research became one of the priorities of the Institute for Oncology Problems (now R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radio­biology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). The detailed study of the antitumor and antimetastatic activities of interferon conducted at the Institute in collaboration with the clinicians allowed for justifying the expedience of its application for improving the outcome of the treatment of cancer patients. The results of these complex studies were summed up in the doctoral thesis “Interferon and antitumor resistance” that was successfully defended by Dr. Vorontsova in 1984. At the end of the 80s, Dr. Vorontsova in collaboration with the research team of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the NAS of Ukraine took part in research-and-development of the domestic formulation of human recombinant alpha-2b interferon (Laferon), and participated in preclinical and clinical studies of this preparation. Later on, Dr. Vorontsova headed the translational research aimed at the assessment of its efficiency in the adjuvant treatment of cancer patients in more than ten leading clinics­ of Ukraine. In 2003, Dr. Vorontsova became a professor in oncology.

Dr. Vorontsova authored more than hundred of scientific publications. She is co-author of several monographs: ”Medicinal Plants in Therapy of Malignant Tumors” (1966), “Mechanisms of Antitumor Resistance” (1978), “Medicinal Plants and Cancer” (1982), “Metastasizing of Tumors: Pathogenetic Aspects” (1991). Ada Leonidivna shared generously her experience with her colleagues, especially young scientists. She advised four PhD and one doctoral theses. For many years, Prof. Vorontsova was a member of the Specialized Scientific Council for defending the theses in specialty “Oncology” and the adviser of the Center for clinical application of interferon.

Ada Leonidivna always demonstrated her active life position and contributed much to the various domains of academic activities. All her life was closely committed to our Institute. All those who had the opportunity to work and communicate with Dr. Vorontsova will remember her as a kind and talented person, a person of a generous spirit. The bright memory of Ada Leonidivna Vorontsova will remain forever in the hearts of all who knew her.

Administration and team of the R.E. Kavetsky Institute of
Experimental Pathology, 
Oncology and Radiobiology of the NAS of Ukraine

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