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Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson

Principal investigator

Dr. Kristinsson is a Professor of Hematology at the University of Iceland and specialist in internal medicine and hematology at the Landspitali University Hospital. He has led several large population-based myeloma studies in collaboration with major research centers and is a frequent speaker at international hematology conferences.

The team

The iStopMM researchers

Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson

Principal investigator

Þorvarður Jón Löve


Ásdís Rósa Þórðardóttir

Managing director

Sigrún Þorsteinsdóttir


Sæmundur Rögnvaldsson


Guðrún Ásta Sigurðardóttir

Head of iStopMM clinic

Anna Kristín B. Jóhannesdóttir

Clinical trial project manager

Róbert Pálmason


Andri Ólafsson

Programmer & database administrator

Erla Berglind Tryggvadóttir


Þórir Einarsson Long


Gauti Kjartan Gíslason


Þórunn Hanna Ragnarsdóttir


Atli Arnarson

Project manager

Jón Kristinn Sigurðsson


Elfa Rún Guðmundsdóttir


Hrefna Dóra Jóhannesdóttir

Practical nurse

Sandra Jónasdóttir

Project manager

Elín Ruth Reed

Head of laboratory

Sigurlína Hrönn Steinarsdóttir

Laboratory employee

Adam Ray Smith


Guðlaug Katrín Hákonardóttir


Jón Þórir Óskarsson


Other researchers

– Andri S. Björnsson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Iceland
– Ásbjörn Jónsson, Radiation Analysis Specialist and Chief Physician Akureyri Hospital
– Bjarni Agnarsson, Professor and Pathologist
– Brynjar Viðarsson, Specialist in blood diseases
– Einar Stefán Björnsson, Professor and Chief Physician in General Medicine at Landspitali Hospital
– Elías Eyþórsson, Doctor PhD
– Elías Ólafsson, Professor and MD, Department of Neurology, Landspitali Hospital
– Gunnar Þór Gunnarsson, Cardiologist
– Hlíf Steingrímsdóttir, Director of the Department of Medicine at Landspitali Hospital
– Ingunn Þorsteinsdóttir, Specialist in Clinical Chemistry at Landspitali Hospital
– Ísleifur Ólafsson, Chief Physician of the Landspitali’s Laboratory
– Jón Gunnlaugur Jónasson, Professor and Chief, Department of Pathology Landspitali Hospital
– Kristján Orri Helgason, Specialist in Infectious Diseases, Landspitali Hospital
– Magnús Gottfreðsson, Professor and Chief, Department of Science, Landspitali Hospital
– Margrét Sigurðardóttir, Pathologist
– Ola Landgren, Professor at the Sylvester Cancer Center, University of Miami
– Ólafur Eysteinn Sigurjónsson, Professor
– Ólafur Skúli Indriðason, Nephrologist
– Páll Torfi Önundarson, Chief Physician of the Department of Hematology Landspitali Hospital
– Ragnar Danielsen, Specialist in heart disease
– Runólfur Pálsson, Chief Physician of Nephrology at Landspitali Hospital
– Sigurður Ólafsson, MD, FACP, Director of Hepatology
– Stephen Harding, Director of The Binding Site.
– Sveinn Guðmundsson, Chief Physician of the Blood Bank
– Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir, Professor of Economics at the University of Iceland

PhD projects

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant B-cell disorder characterized by monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow. MM is a disease of the elderly, with a mean age of diagnosis around 70 years. Few studies have focused on comorbidity in MM, however up to 80% of MM patients have one or more comorbidities at diagnosis. The project will be divided into three parts. In the first part we will study comorbidities among MM patients using Swedish data, the prevalence of comorbidities and survival in relation to specific diseases. In the second part we will validate common comorbidity indices on our data and create anindex from the results of our first project. In the third part, we will focus on treatment-related complications in MM and investigate if comorbidities increase the risk of complications. In addition, we will evaluate if comorbidities affect treatment choices.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Ola Landgren, Unnur Annar Valdimarsdottir, Shaji Kumar and Thor Aspelund. 

Despite that millions of individuals are annually screened for cancer, little is known about. the effects of screening on mental health and quality of life. The specific aim of the current study is to assess the effects of screening on psychiatric health (especially anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]), and depressive symptoms) and satisfaction with life at screening and follow-up after controlling for resilience, social support, and childhood adverse experiences.

Supervisors: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson og Andri Steinþór Björnsson.
Doctoral committee: Guðmundur Bjarni Arnkelsson, Þorvarður Jón Löve, Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson, Andri Steinþór Björnsson and Nicholas J. Sibrava.

Optimal management of individuals with precursor conditions of multiple myeloma depends on how accurately we can predict progression to active multiple myeloma. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical utility of flow cytometric diagnostics of normal and tumor plasma cells in precursor conditions of multiple myeloma and characterize the cellular aspect of the tumor microenvironment in the development of an active disease. Repeated bone marrow and peripheral blood will be collected from participants in the iStopMM study for flow cytometric analysis. This will be the first time flow cytometry parameters will be evaluated in a screened cohort and the repeated sampling will provide a truly longitudinal view of the number of normal and tumor plasma cells during disease progression. Furthermore, the composition and immunomodulatory potential of immune cell populations in the bone marrow could provide new insights into the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Sigrún Þorsteinsdóttir, Róbert Pálmason and Alberto Orfao.

The research project is comprised of two major parts. Firstly, it is an epidemiological study focusing on the prognostic impact of family history of multiple myeloma (MM). It will include studying the effect of family history on the risk of progression of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) to MM as well as its effect on survival in both MGUS and MM. Furthermore, it will be explored whether a family history of MM and other lymphoproliferative malignancies is associated with an increased risk of those diseases. The latter of the two is a meta-analysis of 13 randomized clinical trials that aims to evaluate the effect of thrombosis on the prognosis of MM patients that have received treatment with immunomodulary drugs, i.e. lenalidomide and thalidomide and their response to treatment compared with MM patients who did not develop thrombosis. Furthermore, it aims to evaluate the possible anti-tumoral activity of low-molecular weight heparin.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson

Multiple myeloma is a malignant blood disorder which is often not diagnosed until it has caused serios organ damage. Basic research and new treatment modalities inte the past years have improved the prognosis. Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a precursor to multiple myeloma. Little is known about why some individuals get MGUS and in some cases it can disappear with time (transient MGUS). Little is known about the reason for that. The aim of this thesis is to use mass spectrometry which is a new and more sensitive analysis to diagnose and follow up patients with MGUS and related disorders. We will specifically focus on those individuals with transient MGUS and hope it can help oss to further understand the origins and pathophysiology of MGUS and multiple myeloma.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Þorvarður Löve, Sigrún Þorsteinsdóttir, Stephen Harding and Malin Hultcrantz.

Graduated doctors

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is the asymptomatic precursor condition of multiple myeloma and related disorders. Because MGUS is asymptomatic it almost exclusively comes to light during testing and work-up for other medical problems and most individuals with MGUS are not aware of it. This means that most research cohorts of individuals with MGUS include a skewed population with other medical problems. The aim of the thesis is to study MGUS in a screened population where the MGUS status of all is known, both with regard to the utility of MGUS diagnosis and follow-up but also to get an unbiased view of MGUS epidemiology and its complications.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Thor Aspelund, Gyða Björnsdóttir, Elías Ólafsson and Ola Landgren.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common leukaemia in Western countries. It is a disease of the elderly, with a median age at diagnosis over 70 years. New treatment options have emerged since the turn of the century which have shown improved responses in clinical trials. CLL patients are at increased risk of infections, both due to the innate risk associated with CLL itself, but additionally, CLL treatment is associated with immunosuppression. In my doctoral thesis, using population-based data with all CLL patients diagnosed 1982-2013 in Sweden, I evaluated survival trends and related to changes in treatment. Furthermore I evaluated the risk of infections in CLL patients and the prognostic role of comorbidities.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Ola Landgren, Magnus Björkholm and Magnús Gottfreðsson.

Multiple myeloma is always preceded by monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGSU). MGUS is by definition asymptomatic, and its prevalence increases with age. The etiology of MGUS is to a large extent unknown and the aim of this project was to examine the impact of obesity and diet on MGUS using data from the Icelandic Heart Association. By comparing individuals with and without MGUS with regards to obesity and diet across the lifespan we can answer important questions on lifestyle related MGUS risk.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson
Doctoral committee: Sigrún Helga Lund, Laufey Steingrímsdóttir, Vilmundur Guðnason and Ola Landgren.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant disorder characterized by an uncontrolled proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow. MM is preceded by the precursor condition monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). MM causes lytic bone lesions and fractures, and individuals with MGUS have an increased risk of fractures. The project was divided into three parts. The aim of the first part was to compare bone mineral density (BMD) in individuals with MGUS with individuals without MGUS. The aim of the second part was to analyze relative survival in MM in Sweden during 1972-2013. The aim of the third part was to analyze the association of fractures on survival after MM diagnosis. Results from the first part of the project indicate that although individuals with MGUS do not have a decreased BMD, bone volume is increased. In the second part it was demonstrated that increased use of novel agents in MM patients improved survival in MM patients dramatically. Analysis on the association of fractures and survival in MM showed that MM patients that developed a fracture after the time of diagnosis were at twofold increased risk of dying compared to MM patients without a fracture. These results stress the importance of bone disease in MM.

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Gunnar Sigurðsson, Vilmundur Guðnason and Ola Landgren.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy in Western countries. A new generation of pharmaceuticals have dramatically increased the life expectancy of patients with MM. Recent studies have implied a rise in incidence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in patients previously diagnosed with MM, especially when treated with the novel agents. The reasons for this is unknown as well as the predisposing factors for AML and MDS in this group. The study plan is to gather information on all patients diagnosed with MM in Sweden from the year 1958 to 2012 and cross reference with the Swedish Cancer Registry for AML/MDS diagnoses. The information gathered will focus on diagnostic test results from blood and bone morrow, both at initial MM diagnosis and subsequent AML/MDS diagnosis as well as treatment details. The main objective is to further our knowledge in regards to risk factors for AML/MDS in patients with prior MM diagnosis. 

Supervisor: Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson.
Doctoral committee: Ola Landgren, Magnus Bjorkholm, Anna Porwit and Magnús Karl Magnússon.