The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is excited to announce that it is funding the first large-scale screening study aimed at preventing myeloma before it develops. Spearheaded by the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative®, iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma), is a study that examines blood samples from approximately 120,000 adults over age 40 in Iceland for the earliest signs of myeloma. Because nearly all citizens of Iceland over age 40 undergo routine blood tests, the country is an ideal setting for such research. After obtaining informed consent over the next few months of 2016, project leader Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson of the University of Iceland and his team will screen blood samples from approximately 120,000 individuals for the precursors to myeloma – MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) and smoldering myeloma. Those individuals diagnosed with the precursors will then be invited to participate in a randomized clinical trial to identify the best strategy for treatment and to create a new risk model for disease progression.
The Scandinavian island’s unique combination of genetic homogeneity, genealogical tradition, and high participation in research make it a prime location for discovery and validation of drug targets.