Myeloma group – Evren Alici's research group

The key question in our research through the years has been and still is to identify why some patients with Multiple Myeloma (MM) a quiet disease with good long-term survival have, while others have a more aggressive disease that does not respond to treatment and have a very dismal survival.

About our research

The group is part of the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM).

Mission of the research group

The principal aim in our research is to identify why some patients with Multiple Myeloma (MM) and other plasma cell diseases have excellent long-term survival with few symptoms, while others have an aggressive disease that does not respond to treatment and have a very dismal survival.

Our main hypothesis is that the optimal combination of available treatment modalities and correct use of new therapies improves the survival and may even cure a fraction of patients. In addition, we also investigate novel treatment methods that can have effects when standard therapy fails, as well as furthering the understanding of the mechanisms of action and identify the patient population benefiting the most from the drug or treatment method. The Myeloma group performs translational research and have an interest in risk stratification of patients, identifying prognostic parameters, chromosomal aberrations/genes on specific chromosomes as well as perform transcriptomic/genome-wide analyses of disease associations and reducing side effects of immune therapy.

Focus areas of our research:

A) Clinical research: Analysis of real-world data, such as prognostic parameters related to specific therapies and treatment sequences in patients with MM in relation to differences in disease outcome.

B) The immune therapy lab: Improvement of current-generation tumor-targeting strategies to enhance efficacy and reduce adverse events in NK, bispecific T-cell stimulants and CAR-T cell-mediated therapies in multiple myeloma, conducting immunotherapy trials, in collaboration with the Cell & Gene Therapy Group at HERM.

C) The molecular biology lab: Understand the genetic characterization of MM and related diseases at diagnosis and disease progression, as well as identifying genes and disease markers of importance in MM disease progression, risk stratification and patient outcome prediction over time.

D) Clinical trials: Conducting clinical trials with the aim of enhancing symptoms and prolonging survival in MM patients. In close collaboration with the Hematology Unit and Clinical trial Unit at Karolinska University Hospital.

Experimental design
Investigation of treatment methods in patients.

Main achievements and discoveries

Our real-world data have produced several studies through the years, both alone and in collaboration with: The Swedish and Nordic myeloma groups and the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), as well as other collaborative partners. Many of these projects have been the background leading to the improvement of the treatment regimens and follow-up in MM, resulting in rapid increase in survival during the last 20 years.

Since many years, we are in a close collaboration with the Cell & Gene Therapy Group. We have worked extensively on clinical grade expansion, activation and gene modification of primary human NK cells from healthy donors and patients with MM. This collaboration has resulted in ongoing and finished autologous NK cell therapy clinical trials for MM patients. Within the molecular biology lab- and chromosome lab, we have succeeded in defining several chromosomes and genes that impact the prognosis of MM patients, such as del.8p21 and add1q. Our future projects aim to define genes and other disease markers responsible for disease progression and treatment outcome.


Selected publications

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group

Team leaders

Katarina Uttervall

M.D., PhD. Affiliated to research.
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Arnika Kathleen Wagner

PhD. Assistant professor

Group members

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Anna Bohlin

Research nurse

Muhammad Kashif

PhD. Research specialist
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Vincent Luong

M.D., PhD student, Affiliated to research.
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Ann Wallblom

Lab Manager, Biomedical Analyst
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Annette Öster Fernström

PhD. Coordinator for the Myeloma group. PA for Johan Lund.

Affiliated members


Göran Wålinder, MD PhD. Dissertation 2022: Plasma cell malignancies in Sweden: Subgroup descriptions and regional outcomes for multiple myeloma.

Gabriel Afram

M.D., PhD. Affiliated to research.
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Gösta Gahrton

M.D., PhD. Professor and mentor
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Hareth Nahi

M.D., PhD. Affiliated to research

Athra Bethersen

Affiliated to Research