Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

Screening Technique for Early Identification and Treatment of Myeloma Under Study in Iceland

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A recent article published in the Blood Cancer Journal highlights a screening technique for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), the condition that precedes multiple myeloma. Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson, MD, PhD, of the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, and colleagues launched a population-based screening study with a subsequent randomized controlled trial to evaluate the risks and benefits of screening and follow-up of patients with MGUS. Their findings revealed that the design and recruitment strategies adopted in this study will generate large data sets and sample collections. Furthermore, these findings may help to inform early treatment interventions, thus improving the quality of life and overall survival of patients with myeloma.

The Iceland Screens, Treats, or Prevents Multiple Myeloma study (iStopMM) is an ongoing study that was offered to Icelandic residents born before 1976. A total of 80,759 individuals consented to participate. Participants with MGUS were randomly assigned into three arms of the study: arm 1 was not contacted, arm 2 followed current guidelines, and arm 3 followed more intensive strategies. Participants completed questionnaires that assessed psychiatric health and quality of life, blood samples were collected, and various imaging studies were performed when necessary.

The primary endpoint of the study is the overall survival of individuals with MGUS, comparing those who receive follow up (arms 2 and 3) with those who do not (arm 1) after 5 years. As this study is still ongoing, the findings on overall survival are not yet available. However, given the high participation rate, the data collected will provide high-quality evidence on the potential harms and benefits of MGUS screening, which may shape early treatments for patients with multiple myeloma.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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