NMRRC in persons. Boris Yakovlevich Alekseev.
Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Boris Yakovlevich Alekseev, Deputy General Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution «NMRRC» of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation:
“Medicine is a profession that forces you to study throughout your live”
It is enough to read the track record of Boris Yakovlevich to understand that we are talking, first of all, about a person immersed in science: Scientific Secretary of the Russian Society of Oncourology, Member of the Board of the Russian Society of Urology, Member of the European Association of Urology and the International Society of Urology, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Oncology. P. Hertsen Journal”, editor-in-chief of the journal “Oncourology”, head of the Department of Oncology of the Medical Institute of Continuing Education of the Russian Biotechnological University, member of the expert council of the Russian Science Foundation.
And his life’s work is oncourology.
The decision to become a doctor was, in general, unexpected both for relatives and for Boris Yakovlevich as well. At that time, he was a high school student in one of Moscow schools.
– I was fond of biology, – remembers Professor Alekseev, – as a schoolboy I went to the classes of the Club of Young Biologists at the Moscow Zoo and was preparing to enter the Faculty of Biology of Moscow State University. But already in the 10th grade I became interested in medicine, and I don’t regret it a bit.
This is a profession that forces you to study throughout your live. It, in addition to trials, difficulties and sorrows, gives you incomparable joy when your efforts end up successfully and you defeat the disease.
In 1992, Boris Alekseev, a student of the Faculty of Medicine, graduated with honors from the Second Moscow State University (2nd MSU) (for now Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University). And he’d joined the oncology club in the second year yet.
– In those years, the first publications about various genetic mutations that play a role in the onset of a tumor, about new drugs with molecular targets, about immune therapy appeared. It was a door to an unknown world.
The first operation that student Alekseev saw in the abdominal department, oddly enough, disappointed him. In those days diagnosis was still far from perfect, and often the full picture of the tumor process was seen already in the process of surgical intervention. It was the same case. They couldn’t help the patient.
“Now there are no such situations practically,” says Professor Alekseev. “We have a lot of subtle and precise diagnostic methods at our disposal, and surgery itself has changed a lot. We can work for several hours, on several organs at once, being able to nurse even very serious patients in intensive care unit thanks to the tremendous success of anesthesiology. All of this has raised the surgical methods of fighting cancer to a very high level, this is a real happiness and an incentive for the surgeon.
We asked Boris Yakovlevich how he considers himself – a scientist or a surgeon, Professor Alekseev replies:
– In oncology, you can not specialize particularly in surgery as a craft. This is a very complex profession. My Ph.D. thesis was devoted to new ideas in the drug therapy of bladder cancer, and my doctoral thesis involved combined methods of treating the prostate gland, because they bring, as a rule, the expected success in the treatment of malignant neoplasms.
Speaking about teachers in the profession, Boris Yakovlevich noticed: – I’ve been working for many years under the guidance of Academician Chissov V.I.. Despite his severity, he was not afraid to support new ideas, take risks. It was he, at the suggestion of Professor Rusakov, my first mentor, who opened the department of oncourology at the P. Hertsen MORI. We were the first in Russia who started performing prostate surgeries and after a while we performed it in the country the most.
Igor Georgievich Rusakov developed polymer carriers for cytostatics. I am grateful to fate that I had such an amazing teacher as Professor Rusakov. He is very erudite, kind, he always gave me and other young employees the opportunity to prove themselves. He somehow gently allowed us, students, to enter the orbit of modern oncological life. We actively began to take part in conferences, trips, including abroad trips. In general, the community of professors of the Hertsen Institute, whom I was lucky to work with, is the glory of Russian medicine. Sofya Lvovna Darialova, a legendary person in oncology, she was my second consultant on my doctoral dissertation, a person of amazing erudition, sharpness of thinking, wit, an excellent teacher.
Georgy Abramovich Frank, who I’ve learned a lot from. He is a pathologist, but he thoroughly understands both clinical issues, treatment options, both surgical and medicinal. The man is encyclopedically educated and a music lover. At least twice a month we met with him at a concert in the Great Hall of the Conservatory…
Valery Vladimirovich Starinsky is a professor, our patriarch of the cancer registry, a person who has been responsible for communication with the regions for many years. We have a lot to learn from them even today.
– What to learn, for example?
– Loyalty to the profession – first of all, I think. Proper relationship with colleagues. You should have seen how doctors from regional oncology dispensaries, all Russian oncologists welcomed Valery Vladimirovich at one of his anniversaries. To earn the love of colleagues is also a great art of the human soul …
– What is the most important thing in my work? – asks Boris Y. Alekseev. – Understand all aspects of the patient’s health and condition. After all, sometimes the choice of treatment methods depends not only on the state of his illness, but also on the profession, lifestyle, environment. His plans. And the second, and maybe the first: to try to convey to the patient the mood for treatment, the mood for victory. Largely the result depends on this I’ve learned that from my extensive experience in oncology.
Press Service of National Medical Radiology Research Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation