Professor Peter Mortimer's research and clinical interest is in lymphovascular medicine.
Recent lymphatic science indicates how important the lymphatic system is for the development and regulation of the cardiovascular system. In addition the lymphatic system has a critical immunological function in many disease states, particularly infection. It also plays a major role in cancer progression.
His lymphovascular practice at St George’s Hospital sees lymphoedema, lymphatic malformations and recurrent infection arising from lymphatic dysfunction.
His research is entirely focused on lymphatic science, with emphasis on the following specific areas:
- Breast cancer related lymphoedema (the development of fluid swelling of the arm or body following breast cancer treatment).
- The genetic basis of lymphoedema (Professor Mortimer's research group has been instrumental in locating the genes for five different forms of inheritable lymphoedema - more than any other group worldwide)
- Understanding the role of lymphatics in metastatic melanoma
Methods used within his laboratories include fluorescence microlymphangiography for investigating skin lymphatic vessels in humans in vivo. A research gamma camera for lymphoscintigraphy has recently been installed.
Petrova T.V., Karpanen T., Norrmen C., Mellor R., Tamakoshi T., Finegold D., Ferrell R., Kerjaschki D., Mortimer P., Yla-Herttuala S., Miura N., Alitalo K. Defective valves and abnormal mural cell recruitment underlie lymphatic vascular failure in lymphoedema distichiasis. NAT. MED. 2004; 10(9): 974-981.
Brice G., Child A.H., Evans A., Bell R., Mansour S., Burnand K., Sarfarazi M., Jeffery S.. Mortimer P. Milroy disease and the VEGFR-3 mutation phenotype. J. MED. GENET. 2005; 42: 98-102.
Shields JD., Emmett MS., Dunn DB., Joury KD., Sage LM., Rigby H., Mortimer PS., Orlando A., Levick JR., Bates DO Chemokine-medicated migration of melanoma cells towards lymphatics – a mechanism contributing to metastasis. Oncogene 2006; 26: 2997 – 3005
Mellor RH., Brice G., Stanton AW., French J., Smith A., Levick JR., Burnand KG., Mortimer PS, Lymphoedema Research Consortium. Mutations in FOXC2 are strongly associated with primary valve failure in veins of the lower limb. Circulation 2007; 115: 1912-20
Drenth JP, Te Morsche RH, Mansour S, Mortimer PS. Primary erythermalgia as a sodium channelopathy: screening for SCN9A mutations: exclusion of a causal role of SCN10A and SCN11A. Arch Dermatol. 2008 Mar;144(3):320-4
Stanton AW, Modi S, Bennett Britton TM, Purushotham AD, Peters AM, Levick JR, Mortimer PS. Lymphatic drainage in the muscle and subcutis of the arm after breast cancer treatment. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008 117: 549-57
Dr T Makinen, Cancer Research UK
Professor S Rockson, Stanford University
Cancer Research UK, programme grant BCRL
Cancer Research UK, project grant melanoma
British Heart Foundation, genetic basis of lymphoedema