Eva Hellström-Lindberg group

Eva Hellström-Lindberg chairs a translational research program targeting the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

The experimental part focuses on pathogenesis and therapeutic targets in MDS and is pursued along three lines:

  1. Hemopoietic stem cell (HSC) studies in specific MDS subtypes aiming to understand clonal hierarchies, mechanisms for HSC-niche interactions, and response to therapy;
  2.  Studies of the MDS subtype refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts, RARS, exploring the biological consequences of mutations in the splice factor gene SF3B1 for HSC clonal advantage and anemia, respectively;
  3. Epigenetic dysregulation in high-risk MDS including how genetic and epigenetic patterns are influenced by treatment.

These studies are made possible by a large MDS biobank encompassing DNA, RNA and cryopreserved cells from the MDS clinic at Karolinska and from the Nordic Clinical trials. Patients undergo a detailed annotation and follow-up and are genotyped with regard to currently identified candidate gene mutations.

The clinical trial program (Nordic MDS group) encompasses phase I and II clinical trials, and is associated with an elaborate biobank program. In Sweden, this program is linked to the Swedish Cancer Registry quality system, and similar registries are currently developed in the other Nordic countries.

The MDS group is actively engaged in a number of productive international collaborations, as demonstrated in the publication short list.

Funding bodies

  • Swedish Cancer Society
  • Swedish Research Council
  • Stockholm County Council Research funds
  • Cancer Society in Stockholm
  • Nordic Cancer Union


Eva Hellström-Lindberg, Group Leader, Professor

Eva Hellström Lindberg is professor of hematology at Karolinska Institutet, chair of the Hematology unit and HERM, and senior consultant at the Center for Hematology, Karolinska University Hospital. She leads a research group and a clinical program targeting the myeloid malignancy myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

Monika Jansson, Lab manager, Med Lic
Annette Engström, Administrator, PhD
Gunilla Walldin, Research and biobank nurse
Martin Jädersten, Senior post doc / junior PI
Mohsen Karimi, Post doc
Marios Dimitriou, Post doc
Teresa Mortera Blanco, Post doc
Christian Scharenberg, PhD student
Magnus Tobiasson, Post doc
Simona Conte, PhD student
Valentina Giai, PhD student
Edda Maria Elvarsdottir, PhD student
Asmaa Ben Azenkoud, Leg. BMA

Selected publications

Progression in patients with low- and intermediate-1-risk del(5q) myelodysplastic syndromes is predicted by a limited subset of mutations.
Scharenberg C, Giai V, Pellagatti A, Saft L, Dimitriou M, Jansson M, et al
Haematologica 2017 03;102(3):498-508

Perturbed hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell hierarchy in myelodysplastic syndromes patients with monosomy 7 as the sole cytogenetic abnormality.
Dimitriou M, Woll P, Mortera-Blanco T, Karimi M, Wedge D, Doolittle H, et al
Oncotarget 2016 Nov;7(45):72685-72698

Mutations in histone modulators are associated with prolonged survival during azacitidine therapy.
Tobiasson M, McLornan D, Karimi M, Dimitriou M, Jansson M, Ben Azenkoud A, et al
Oncotarget 2016 Apr;7(16):22103-15

Aberrant splicing of genes involved in haemoglobin synthesis and impaired terminal erythroid maturation in SF3B1 mutated refractory anaemia with ring sideroblasts.
Conte S, Katayama S, Vesterlund L, Karimi M, Dimitriou M, Jansson M, et al
Br. J. Haematol. 2015 Nov;171(4):478-90

SF3B1 mutation identifies a distinct subset of myelodysplastic syndrome with ring sideroblasts.
Malcovati L, Karimi M, Papaemmanuil E, Ambaglio I, Jädersten M, Jansson M, et al
Blood 2015 Jul;126(2):233-41

Myelodysplastic syndromes are propagated by rare and distinct human cancer stem cells in vivo.
Woll P, Kjällquist U, Chowdhury O, Doolittle H, Wedge D, Thongjuea S, et al
Cancer Cell 2014 Jun;25(6):794-808

 The transporter ABCB7 is a mediator of the phenotype of acquired refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts.
Nikpour M, Scharenberg C, Liu A, Conte S, Karimi M, Mortera-Blanco T, et al
Leukemia 2013 Apr;27(4):889-896

 Clinical significance of SF3B1 mutations in myelodysplastic syndromes and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Malcovati L, Papaemmanuil E, Bowen D, Boultwood J, Della Porta M, Pascutto C, et al
Blood 2011 Dec;118(24):6239-46

 Somatic SF3B1 mutation in myelodysplasia with ring sideroblasts.
Papaemmanuil E, Cazzola M, Boultwood J, Malcovati L, Vyas P, Bowen D, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2011 Oct;365(15):1384-95

 TP53 mutations in low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with del(5q) predict disease progression.
Jädersten M, Saft L, Smith A, Kulasekararaj A, Pomplun S, Göhring G, et al
J. Clin. Oncol. 2011 May;29(15):1971-9

HematologyRegenerative Medicine