Being a clinical researcher has challenged, rewarded and allowed me to provide patients and their families with overwhelming successes and promise.
Mark Agulnik, M.D., is a respected clinician, educator and researcher who specializes in the treatment of sarcomas – head and neck cancer, bone cancer and soft tissue cancers. He joined City of Hope following a distinguished 15-year career at Northwestern University in Chicago where he directed the institution’s Clinical Trials program.
Dr. Agulnik received his medical degree from Canada’s McGill University and continued his training at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, University of Illinois Chicago and University of Toronto.
The bilingual (English/French) Dr. Agulnik has volunteered his time and skills in both Haiti and Jamaica.
Winner of more than a dozen awards, Dr. Agulnik says his “calling and passion” is the care of his patients. His desire to balance research and patient care attracted him to City of Hope and its dedication “to making a difference in the lives of people with cancer and to transform the future of health care by turning science into a practical benefit, hope into reality.”
1994, Faculty of Science, Medical Preparatory Year, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
2004-2006, Clinical Research, University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Hospital, Ontario, Canada
2001-2004, Hematology and Medical Oncology, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL
1998-2001, Internal Medicine, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
2021-present, Section Chief of Sarcoma Medical Oncology, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2020-present, Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2006-2020, Attending Physician, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
2010-2020, Consulting Physician, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2017-2020, Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
2012-2017, Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
2006-2012, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Awards & Memberships
2020, Department of Medicine Excellence in Teaching Award, Northwestern Medicine
2018, Feinberg School of Medicine Outstanding Teacher
2015, The Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Nora Cooney Marra Compassionate Care Award
2011, Feinberg School of Medicine Outstanding Teacher
2012, Distinguished Faculty Interviewers
2010, Institute of Medicine of Chicago Humanitarian Global Health Award
2010, Feinberg School of Medicine Outstanding Teacher
2010, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation Clinical Community Service Award
2010, Service Employees International Union Help Haiti Initiative Award
2008, Full Member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
2006, European Society of Medical Oncology Travel Award
2005, Physician's Education Resource Congress Scholarship
2005, American Association for Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award
2005, Novartis Oncology Young Canadian Investigator Award
2005, European Society of Medical Oncology Travel Award
2005, American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Merit Award
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Connective Tissue Oncology Society
Poropatich K, Paunesku T, Zander A, Wray B, Schipma M, Dalal P, Agulnik M, Chen S, Lai B, Antipova O, Maxey E, Brown K, Wanzer MB, Gursel D, Fan H, Rademaker A, Woloschak GE, Mittal BB. Elemental Zn and its Binding Protein Zinc-α2-Glycoprotein are Elevated in HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 18;9(1):16965. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-53268-1.
Van Tine BA, Agulnik M, Olson RD, Walsh GM, Klausner A, Frank NE, Talley TT, Milhem MM. A phase II clinical study of 13-deoxy, 5-iminodoxorubicin (GPX-150) with metastatic and unresectable soft tissue sarcoma. Cancer Med. 2019 Jun;8(6):2994-3003. DOI: 10.1002/cam4.2136. Epub 2019 Apr 23.
Davis LE, Bolejack V, Ryan CW, Ganjoo KN, Loggers ET, Chawla S, Agulnik M, Livingston MB, Reed D, Keedy V, Rushing D, Okuno S, Reinke DK, Riedel RF, Attia S, Mascarenhas L, Maki RG. Randomized Double-Blind Phase II Study of Regorafenib in Patients With Metastatic Osteosarcoma. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jun 1;37(16):1424-1431. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.02374. Epub 2019 Apr 23.
Kircher SM, Yarber J, Rutsohn J, Guevara Y, Lyleroehr M, Alphs Jackson H, Walradt J, Desai B, Mulcahy M, Kalyan A, Benson AB, Agulnik M, Mohindra N, DeSouza J, Garcia SF. Piloting a Financial Counseling Intervention for Patients With Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy. J Oncol Pract. 2019 Jan 9:JOP1800270. DOI: 10.1200/JOP.18.00270. [Epub ahead of print].
Ma BBY, Lim WY, Goh BC, Hui EP, Lo KW, Pettinger A, Foster NR, Riess JW, Agulnik M, Change AYC, Chopra A, Kish JA, Chung CH, Adkins DR, Cullen KJ, Gitlitz BJ, Lim DW, To KF, Chan KCA, Lo YMD, King AD, Erlichman C, Yin J, Costello BA, Chan ATC. Antitumor Activity of Nivolumab in Recurrent and Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: An International, Multicenter Study of the Mayo Clinic Phase 2 Consortium (NCI-9742). J Clin Oncol. 2018 May 10. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.77.0388.
Tap WD, Papai Z, Van Tine BA, Attia S, Ganjoo KN, Jones RL, Schuetze S, Reed D, Chawla SP, Riedel RF, Krarup-Hansen A, Toulmonde M, Ray-Coquard I, Hohenberger P, Grignani G, Cranmer LD, Okuno S, Agulnik M, Read W, Ryan CW, Alcindor T, Del Muro XFG, Budd GT, Tawbi H, Pearce T, Kroll S, Reinke DK, Schöffski P. Doxorubicin plus evofosfamide versus doxorubicin alone in locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma (TH CR-406/SARC021): an international, multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2017 Aug;18(8):1089-1103. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30381-9. Epub 2017 Jun 23.
Patel RA, Bell JB, Kim T, Agulnik M, Chandler JP, Mittal BB, Kruser TJ. Stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases from primary head and neck carcinomas: a retrospective analysis. J Neurooncol. 2017 May 25. DOI: 10.1007/s11060-017-2509-6. [Epub ahead of print]
Agulnik M, Costa RL, Milhem M, Rademaker AW, Prunder BC, Daniels D, Rhodes BT, Humphreys C, Abbinanti S, Nye L, Cehic R, Polish A, Vintilescu C, McFarland T, Skubitz K, Robinson S, Okuno S, Van Tine BA. A Phase II Study of Tivozanib in Patients with Metastatic and Nonresectable Soft-Tissue Sarcomas. Ann Oncol. 2017 Jan 1;28(1):121-127. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdw444.
Nye L, Yeldandi A, Peabody T, Attar S, Salamon MA, Gandhi M, Gursel D, Rademaker A, Hayes JP, Agulnik M. Ectopic Production of β-hCG and loss of P16 as a Predictor of Outcome in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Osteosarcoma. Clin Oncol. 2016; 1: 1061.
Ryan CW, Merimsky O, Agulnik M, Blay JY, Schuetze SM, Van Tine BA, Jones RL, Elias AD, Choy E, Alcindor T, Keedy VL, Reed DR, Taub RN, Italiano A, Garcia Del Muro X, Judson IR, Buck JY, Lebel F, Lewis JJ, Maki RG, Schöffski P. PICASSO III: A Phase III, Placebo-Controlled Study of Doxorubicin With or Without Palifosfamide in Patients With Metastatic Soft Tissue Sarcoma. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Sep 12. pii: JCO676684.
Dickson MA, Mahoney MR, Tap WD, D'Angelo SP, Keohan ML, Van Tine BA, Agulnik M, Horvath LE, Nair JS, Schwartz GK. Phase II study of MLN8237 (Alisertib) in advanced/metastatic sarcoma. Ann Oncol. 2016 Oct;27(10):1855-60. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdw281.
Tap WD, Jones RL, Van Tine BA, Chmielowski B, Elias AD, Adkins D, Agulnik M, Cooney MM, Livingston MB, Pennock G, Hameed MR, Shah GD, Qin A, Shahir A, Cronier DM, Ilaria R Jr, Conti I, Cosaert J, Schwartz GK. Olaratumab and doxorubicin versus doxorubicin alone for treatment of soft-tissue sarcoma: an open-label phase 1b and randomised phase 2 trial. Lancet. 2016 Jul 30;388(10043):488-97. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30587-6.
DeVita M, Moreira J, Gandhi M, Rademaker A, Pelzer H, Mittal B, Agulnik M. Impact of Residual Adenopathy Following Chemoradiotherapy for Squamous Cell carcinoma of the hEad and Neck: A Retrospective Analysis of 51 Consecutive Cases. Head and Neck Cancer Research. 2016 May: 1(2:7): 1-6.
Wagner AJ, Agulnik M, Heinrich MC, Mahadevan D, Riedel RF, von Mehren M, Trent J, Demetri GD, Corless CL, Yule M, Lyons JF, Oganesian A, Keer H. Dose-escalation study of a second-generation non-ansamycin HSP90 inhibitor, onalespib (AT13387), in combination with imatinib in patients with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumour. Eur J Cancer. 2016 May 4;61:94-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2016.03.076.
Munhoz RR, D'Angelo SP, Gounder MM, Keohan ML, Chi P, Carvajal RD, Singer S, Crago AM, Landa J, Healey JH, Qin LX, Hameed M, Ezeoke MO, Singh AS, Agulnik M, Chmielowski B, Luke JJ, Van Tine BA, Schwartz GK, Tap WD, Dickson MA. A Phase Ib/II Study of Gemcitabine and Docetaxel in Combination With Pazopanib for the Neoadjuvant Treatment of Soft Tissue Sarcomas. Oncologist. 2015 Nov;20(11):1245-6. PMID: 26449382.
Cohen EE, Karrison TG, Kocherginsky M, Mueller J, Egan R, Huang CH, Brockstein BE, Agulnik M, Mittal BB, Yunus F, Samant S, Raez LE, Mehra R, Kumar P, Ondrey F, Marchand P, Braegas B, Seiwert TY, Villaflor VM, Haraf DJ, Vokes EE. Phase III Randomized Trial of Induction Chemotherapy in Patients with N2 or N3 Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2014 Sep 1;32(25):2735-43. PMID: 25049329.
Sherman KL, Kinnier CV, Farina DA, Wayne JD, Laskin WB, Agulnik M, Attar S, Hayes JP, Peabody T, Bilimoria KY. Examination of national lymph node evaluation practices for adult extremity soft tissue sarcoma. J Surg Oncol. 2014 Nov;110(6):682-8. PMID: 24910401.
Mittal BB, Pauloski BR, Rademaker AW, Discekici-Harris M, Helenowski IB, Mellot A, Agulnik M, Logemann JA. Effect of induction chemotherapy on swallow physiology and saliva production in patients with head and neck cancer: A pilot study. Head Neck. 2014 Feb 20. PMID: 24677442.
Sherman KL, Wayne JD, Chung J, Agulnik M, Attar S, Hayes JP, Laskin WB, Peabody TD, Bentrem DJ, Pollock RE, Bilimoria KY. Assessment of multimodality therapy use for extremity sarcoma in the United States. J Surg Oncol. 2014 Apr;109(5):395-404. PMID 24375444.
Refaat T, Choi M, Thomas TO, Bacchus I, Agulnik M, Pelzer HJ, Mellott AL, Rademaker AW, Liu D, Sathiaseelan V, Mittal BB. Whole-Field Sequential Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Local-Regional Advanced Head-and-Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Am J Clin Oncol. 2013 Oct 16. PMID: 24136140.
Bharat M, Wang E, Sejpal S, Agulnik M, Mittal A, Harria K. Effect of Recombinant Human Deoxyribonuclease on Oropharyngeal Secretions in Patients With Head-and-Neck Cancers Treated With Radiochemotherapy. Int J Radiation Oncol Biol Phys, Vol. 87, No. 2, pp.282-289, 2013 PMID: 23910712.
Schwartz GK, Tap WD, Qin LX, Livingston MB, Undevia SD, Chmielowski B, Agulnik M, Schuetze SM, Reed DR, Okuno SH, Ludwig JA, Keedy V, Rietschel P, Kraft AS, Adkins D, Van Tine BA, Brockstein B, Yim V, Bitas C, Abdullah A, Antonescu CR, Condy M, Dickson MA, Vasudeva SD, Ho AL, Doyle LA, Chen HX, Maki RG. Cixtumumab and temsirolimus for patients with bone and soft-tissue sarcoma: a multicentre, open-label, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2013 Apr 14;(4): 371-382. PMID: 23477833.
Agulnik M, Yarber JL, Okuno SH, von Mehren M, Jovanovic BD, Brockstein BE, Evens AM, Benjamin RS. An open-label, multicenter, phase II study of bevacizumab for the treatment of angiosarcoma and epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas. Ann Oncol. 2012 Aug 21(1): 257-263. PMID: 22910841.
Ryan CW, Matias C, Agulnik M, Lopez-Pousa A, Williams C, de Alwis DP, Kaiser C, Miller MA, Ermisch S, Ilaria R Jr, Keohan ML. A phase II study of tasisulam sodium (LY573636 sodium) as second-line or third-line treatment for patients with unresectable or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma. Invest New Drugs. 2012 Apr 27; 31(1):145-151. PMID: 22539091.
Perez CA, Song H, Raez LE, Agulnik M, Grushko TA, Dekker A, Stenson K, Blair EA, Olopade OI, Seiwert TY, Vokes EE, Cohen EE. Phase II study of gefitinib adaptive dose escalation to skin toxicity in recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Oral Oncol 2012; 48(9):887-92. PMID: 22513208.
Taylor SK, Chia S, Dent S, Clemons M, Agulnik M, Grenci1 P, Wang L, Oza AM, Ivy P, Pritchard KI, Leighl NB. A Phase II Study of Pazopanib in Patients with Recurrent or Metastatic Invasive Breast Carcinoma: A Trial of the Princess Margaret Hospital Phase II Consortium. Oncologist 2010; 15(8):810-8. PMID: 20682606.
Eilers RE, Gandhi M, Patel JD, Mulcahy MF, Agulnik M, Hensing T, Lacouture ME. Dermatologic Infections in Cancer Patients Treated With Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitor Therapy. J Natl Cancer Inst 2010; 102(1):47-53. PMID: 20007525.
Vidal L, Tsao MS, Pond GR, Cohen EEW, Cohen RB, Chen EX, Agulnik M, Hotte S, Winquist E, Laurie S, Hayes DN, Ho J, Spohn J, Hill J, Dancey J, Siu LL. Fluorescence in situ hybridization gene amplification analysis of EGFR and HER2 in patients with malignant salivary gland tumors treated with lapatinib. Head and Neck 2009; 31(8):1006-12. PMID: 19309723.
Tejwani A, Wu S, Jia Y, Agulnik M, Millender L, Lacouture ME. Increased Risk of High-Grade Dermatologic Toxicities With Combined Radiation Plus EGFR Inhibitor Therapy. Cancer 2009; 15;115(6):1286-99. PMID: 19170238.
Nonzee NJ, Dandade NA, Markossian T, Agulnik M, Argiris A, Patel JD, Kern RC, Munshi HG, Calhoun EA, Bennett CL. Evaluating the supportive care costs of severe radiochemotherapy-induced mucositis and pharyngitis : results from a Northwestern University Costs of Cancer Program pilot study with head and neck and nonsmall cell lung cancer patients who received care at a county hospital, a Veterans Administration hospital, or a comprehensive cancer care center. Cancer 2008; 113(6): 1446-1452. PMID: 18683883.
Books and Chapters
Agulnik M,Yentz S. Cancer of Unknown Origin in Baliga RR (editor). Textbook of Internal Medicine: An Intensive Board Review Book with 1480 Multiple Choice Questions 1st Kindle Edition, Blendon-Miller, An imprint of MasterMedFacts LLC, March 2018.
Sankar K, Agulnik M, Rademaker A, Moreira J. Trends in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) Clinical Research as Reported in the ASCO Proceedings from 1996-2015. Head and Neck Cancer SMGroup, Sept. 20, 2017.
Pariser A, Wayne J, Hayes JP, Agulnik M. Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Diagnosis and Treatment. Hematology-Oncology Board Review Manual Vol 13, Part 1 33-46, 2016.
Painschab M, Yarber J, Agulnik M. Bone Sarcoma. Clinical Oncology News, Essential Oncology 2016.
Mohindra N, Wayne JD, Agulnik M. Adjuvant therapy for GIST. In: Emerging Treatments for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor. Agaimy A (Ed.). Future Medicine, London, UK. eISBN 978-1-78084-504-3.
Yentz, S, Agulnik M. Cancers of Unknown Primary Site. in Baliga RR (ed). Textbook of Internal Medicine--An Intensive Board Review with 1000 MCQs. Blendon Miller, 2013.
Ratings & Reviews
Ratings and reviews below are gathered from the Press Ganey Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG CAHPS) survey. CG CAHPS is a standardized survey that is used to measure a patient's experience in the physician office setting. Ratings are an average of all responses to questions about a provider's care, with 5 stars being the highest.
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Dr Agulnik is top notch. Very professional, courteous and knowledgeable. He listened to my questions and I felt reassured - Verified patient
He was outstanding!!! - Verified patient
Dr. Agulnik from 1st impression seems to be an excellent oncologist. He gave my wife & me extreme confidence that we would be an superb physician to handle my care. - Verified patient
Good - Verified patient
When I left I was no closer to having a sense of what would be best approach to my cancer than when I got there. However, he did say he would take it to the cancer board and get back to me. - Verified patient