Dr Tracey Mitchell

Head of Skin Tumour Unit

Dr Mitchell is head of the molecular diagnostic unit for clonality assessment in cutaneous lymphoma and is responsible for developing the service through the units’ translational research programme.  

Tracey completed a PhD in molecular biology at the Hammersmith Hospital, London, followed by two post-doctoral positions studying gene regulation at Imperial College London. 

She joined the Skin Tumour Unit in 1990 and was responsible for setting up the Skin Tumour Unit Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. 

She holds an honorary lecturer contract with King's College London (KCL) and fifty percent of her time is devoted to research activities, including supervision of undergraduate/graduate research students.

Tracey is actively involved in the NIHR biomedical research centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and is contributing to delivering the research objectives of the bio-markers, co-diagnostics and imaging cluster.

Tracey is a Designated Individual for the KCL Human Tissue Act license and manages the research tissue bank for St John’s Institute of Dermatology.  

The molecular diagnostics unit is embedded in the KCL research laboratory and supports the cutaneous lymphoma service at GSTFT, which is the largest tertiary referral centre in the UK for Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) and has contributed to international consensus statements on revised staging criteria, treatment guidelines and disease response criteria. A key achievement for Tracey was the establishment of the research tissue bank for cutaneous lymphoma, which stores 12000 clinical samples and data from over 4000 patients. The tissue bank includes a fully validated prognostic model of survival and progression risk for 1502 Mycosis Fungoides / Sezary Syndrome patients and has formed the basis for development of a cutaneous lymphoma prognostic index (CLIPi). The 1502 cohort and corresponding clinical samples represent a unique resource to study the prognostic relevance of molecular abnormalities in CTCL and to develop molecular diagnositcs. 

Their current research program aims to identify driver gene mutations important in the initiation and pathogenesis of CTCL using a next generation sequencing approach to sequence the whole exomes of tumour and healthy cells from patients. Bioinformatic analysis has identified a panel of genes carrying tumour specific novel mutations that represent potential ‘drivers of CTCL’ and includes genes involved in T-cell homeostasis, apoptosis, cell signalling and repair of UV-induced DNA damage. They are currently undertaking a prevalence screen and functional analyses to validate these candidate genes. This program will address fundamental questions in T-cell biology and has immediate translational relevance.

Recent Publications:

Benton EC, Crichton S, Talpur R, Agar NS, Fields PA, Wedgeworth E, Mitchell TJ, Cox M, Ferreira S, Liu P, Robson A, Calonje E, Stefanato CM, Wilkins B, Scarisbrick J, Wain EM, Child F, Morris S, Duvic M, Whittaker SJ. A cutaneous lymphoma international prognostic index (CLIPi) for mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome. Eur J Cancer. 2013 Sep;49(13):2859-68.

Karagiannis P, Gilbert AE, Josephs DH, Ali N, Dodev T, Saul L, Correa I,Roberts L, Beddowes E, Koers A, Hobbs C, Ferreira S, Geh JL, Healy C, Harries M, Acland KM, Blower PJ, Mitchell T J, Fear DJ, Spicer JF, Lacy KE, Nestle FO, Karagiannis SN. IgG4 subclass antibodies impair antitumor immunity in melanoma. JClin Invest. 2013 Apr 1;123(4):1457-74

Jones CL, Ferreira S, McKenzie RC, Tosi I, Caesar JA, Bagot M, Whittaker SJ, Mitchell TJ. Regulation of T-Plastin Expression by Promoter Hypomethylation in Primary Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. J Invest Dermatol. J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Aug;132(8):2042-9

McKenzie, RC, Jones, CL, Tosi, I, Caesar, JA,Whittaker, SJ, Mitchell, TJ. Constitutive activation of STAT3 in Sezary syndrome is independent of SHP-1. Leukemia. 2012 Feb;26(2):323-31.

Agar NS, Wedgeworth E, Crichton S, Mitchell TJ, Cox M, Ferreira S, Robson A,Calonje E, Stefanato CM, Wain EM, Wilkins B, Fields PA, Dean A, Webb K,Scarisbrick J, Morris S, Whittaker SJ. Survival outcomes and prognostic factorsin mycosis fungoides/Sézary syndrome: validation of the revised InternationalSociety for Cutaneous Lymphomas/European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer staging proposal. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Nov 1;28(31):4730-9.

Ballabio E, Mitchell, T.J., van Kester, M.S., Taylor, S., Dunlop, H.M., Chi, J., Tosi, I., Vermeer, M.H., Tramonti. D., Saunders, N.J.,  Boultwood, J., Wainscoat, J.S., Pezzella, F., Whittaker, S.J., {McKenzie et al., 2011, #52678}Tensen, C.P., Hatton, C.S.R., Lawrie, C.H. MicroRNA expression in Sézary syndrome: Identification, Function and Diagnostic potential. Blood. 2010 Aug19;116(7):1105-13.

Jones CL, Wain EM, Chu CC, Tosi I, Foster R, McKenzie RC, Whittaker SJ, Mitchell TJ. Downregulation of Fas Gene Expression in Sézary Syndrome Is Associated with Promoter Hypermethylation. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Apr;130(4):1116-25.

Contact information

020 7188 8075

Last updated: 30/09/2022