Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Marco Agostini Ph.D.

Marco Agostini, Ph.D

Marco Agostini, Ph.D.

Marco Agostini, Ph.D.

Senior Affiliate Member 
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Director, Molecular Biology Lab
Department of Oncology and Surgical Sciences
University of Padova, Italy

E-mail: m.agostini@unipd.it
Phone: 0039-049-8214374
Fax: 0039-049-651891


B.S.   University of Padova, Italy (Biological Sciences)
Ph.D.   University of Padova, Italy (Oncologic and Surgical Sciences)

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, Josephine Nefkens Institute, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Pathology)

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Padova, Italy (Oncology and Surgical Sciences)



Dr. Agostini earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Oncologic and Surgical Sciences from the University of Padova, Italy. His thesis research focused on genetic and molecular characterization of cancer, with a concentration on the genetic pathways underlying the progression and outcome of colon cancer as well as drug delivery system modulation. As a postdoctoral fellow, he studied the molecular basis of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, the multidisciplinary treatment of colorectal rectal cancer, and the genetics and oncology of gastrointestinal tumours.

He moved to the The Netherlands in 2005 for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pathology at the Josephine Nefkens Institute in the Erasmus University Medical Center. Dr. Agostini expanded the scope of his research to include the role of base excision repair in an Apc/Myh-mutant mouse model and to applications in the fields of early diagnostics of colon cancer syndromes. He accepted an appointment to Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology and Surgical Sciences at the University of Padova, Italy in 2006, where he conceived the groundwork for two major projects: discovery of new molecular markers for the non-invasive early detection of cancer, and identifying the roles of molecular markers in pathologic tumor responses and rectal cancer patient outcome after receiving preoperative chemoradiotherapy.

Since then, Dr. Agostini has been leading these projects in collaboration with more than 20 other investigators from multiple institutions. These collaborations have established strong translational research relationships within the community of molecular and oncology medicine, which support the ongoing clinical translation of research innovations.

Description of Research

Dr. Agostini's research program focuses on the study of genetic and molecular characterization of cancer, genetic pathways involved in the progression and outcome of colon cancer, and drug delivery system modulation.  In collaboration with researchers at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, he is developing nanotechnology applications to enhance proteomic profiling for cancer research. His aims are to improve cancer detection by identifying specific cancer biomarkers and the timing of their interelated functional molecular contributions to cancer progression.

Major Areas of Research

Cancer, molecular oncology, clinical nanotechnology applications, drug delivery system modulation

Recent Publications

Agostini M, Pucciarelli S, Enzo MV, Del Bianco P, Briarava M, Bedin C, Maretto I, Friso ML, Lonardi S, Mescoli C, Toppan P, Urso E, Nitti D. Circulating cell-free DNA: a promising marker of pathologic tumor response in rectal cancer patients receiving preoperative chemoradiotherapy. Ann Surg Oncol. 2011 Mar 17.

Pastrello C, Pin E, Marroni F, Bedin C, Fornasarig M, Tibiletti MG, Oliani C, Ponz de Leon M, Urso E, Della Puppa L, Agostini M, Viel A. Integrated analysis of unclassified variants in mismatch repair genes. Genet Med. 2011 Feb;13(2):115-24.

Nascimbeni R, Pucciarelli S, Di Lorenzo D, Urso E, Casella C, Agostini M, Nitti D, Salerni B. Rectum-Sparing Surgery May be Appropriate for Biallelic MutYH-Associated Polyposis. Dis Colon Rectum. 2010 Dec;53(12):1670-5.

Agostini M, Pucciarelli S, Calore F, Bedin C, Enzo MV, Nitti D. miRNAs in colon and rectal cancer: a consensus for their true clinical value. Clin Chim Acta. 2010 Sep 6;411(17-18):1181-6.

Cecchin E, Agostini M, Pucciarelli S, De Paoli A, Canzonieri V, Sigon R, De Mattia E, Friso ML, Biason P, Visentin M, Nitti D, Toffoli G. The tumor response is predicted by the patient genetic profile in rectal cancer patients treated with neo-adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy. Pharmacogenomics J. 2010 Apr 6.

Agostini M, Enzo MV, Morandi L, Bedin C, Pizzini S, Mason S, Bertorelle R, Urso E, Mescoli C, Lise M, Pucciarelli S, Nitti D. A ten markers panel provides a more accurate and complete microsatellite instability analysis in mismatch repair-deficient colorectal tumors. Cancer Biomark. 2010;6(1):49-61.

Zancan M, Galdi F, Di Tonno F, Mazzariol C, Orlando C, Malentacchi F, Agostini M, Maran M, Del Bianco P, Fabricio A, Murer B, Pianon C, Gion M. Evalutation of cell-free DNA in urine as marker for bladder cancer diagnosis. Int J Biol Markers. 2009 Jul-Sep;24(3):147-55.

Cristoni S, Molin L, Lai A, Rossi Bernardi L, Pucciarelli S, Agostini M, Bedin C, Nitti D, Seraglia R, Repetto O, Dibari VF, Orlandi R, Traldi P. MALDI-MS-NIST library approach for colorectal cancer diagnosis. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2009 Sep;23(17):2839-45.

Pasetto LM, Sinigaglia G, Basso U, Cocchio S, Compostella A, Pucciarelli S, Friso ML, Rugge M, Toppan P, Agostini M, Monfardini S. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with 5-fluorouracil by bolus. Anticancer Res. 2008;28(6B):4095-100.

Pasetto LM, Friso ML, Pucciarelli S, Basso U, Rugge M, Sinigaglia G, Rossi E, Compostella A, Toppan P, Agostini M, Monfardini S. Role of neoadjuvant treatment in cT3N0M0 rectal cancer. Anticancer Res. 2008;28(6B):4129-35.

Terrin L, Rampazzo E, Pucciarelli S, Agostini M, Bertorelle R, Esposito G, Del Bianco P, Nitti D, De Rossi A. Relationship between tumor and plasma levels of Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase mRNA in patients with colorectal cancer: implications for non-invasive monitoring of neoplastic disease. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Nov 15;14(22):7444-51.

Pasetto LM, Basso U, Sinigaglia G, Pucciarelli S, Friso ML, Rugge M, Toppan P, Agostini M, Monfardini S. Rectal cancer adjuvant chemotherapy: when is more useful? Anticancer Res. 2008;28(3B):1805-12.

Agostini M, Pasetto LM, Pucciarelli S, Terrazzino S, Ambrosi, Bedin C, Friso ML, Mescoli, Urso E, Leon A, Lise M, Nitti D. Glutathione S-transferase P1 Ile105Val polymorphism is associated with haematological toxicity in elderly rectal cancer patients receiving preoperative chemoradiotherapy. Drugs Aging. 2008;25(6):531-9.

Avezzù A, Agostini, Pucciarelli S, Lise M,Urso ED, Mammi I, Maretto I, Enzo MV, Lise M, Nitti D, Viel A. The role of myh gene in genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer: another little piece of the puzzle. Cancer Lett. 2008;268:308-13.

Urso E, Pucciarelli S, Agostini M, Maretto I, Mescoli C, Bertorelle R, Viel A, Rugge M, Nitti D. Proximal colon cancer in patients aged 51-60 years of age should be tested for microsatellites instability. A comment on the Revised Bethesda Guidelines. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2008;23(8):801-6.

Seraglia R, Molin L, Tonidande L, Pucciarelli S, Agostini M, Urso ED, Bedin C, Quaia M, Nitti D, Traldi P. An investigation on the nature of the peptide at m/z 904, overexpressed in plasma of patients with colorectal cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis. J Mass Spectrom. 2007; 42(12):1606-1612

Pasetto Lm, Basso U, Friso Ml, Pucciarelli S, Agostini M, Rugge M, Sinigaglia G, Lise M, Sotti G, Monfardini S. Determining therapeutic approaches in the elderly with rectal cancer. Drugs Aging. 2007;24(9):781-90.

Pastrello C, Tricarico R, Tibiletti MG, Papi L, Fornasarig M, Morabito A, Agostini M, Genuardi M, Viel A. Reply to Jaskowski et al. Eur J Hum Genet. 2007;15(2):141-2.

Urso E, Pucciarelli S, Cassaro M, Agostini M, Nitti D. Early stage duodenal carcinoid treated by endoscopic forceps biopsies. Case report after 12 years follow up and review of literature on endoscopic treatments of duodenal neuroendocrine tumors. Endoscopy. 2007;39 Suppl 1:E128

Terrazzino S, Agostini M, Pucciarelli S, Pasetto LM, Friso ML, Ambrosi A, Lisi V, Leon A, Lise M, Nitti D. A haplotype of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene predicts poor tumor response in rectal cancer patients receiving preoperative chemoradiation. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2006;16(11):817-24.

Ragazzi E, Seraglia R, Pucciarelli S, Molin L, Agostini M, Lise M, Traldi P, Nitti D. Multivariate analysis approach to the plasma protein profile of patients with advanced colorectal cancer. J Mass Spectrom. 2006;41(12):1546-53.

Mammano E, Belluco C, Sciro M, Mencarelli R, Agostini M, Michelotto M, Marchet A, Nitti D, Lise M. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutational and protein expression analysis in gastric cancer. Anticancer Res. 2006;26:3547-50.

Pasetto LM, Friso ML, Pucciarelli S, Basso U, Toppan P, Agostini M, Rugge M, Serpentini S, Nitti, Monfardini S. Rectal cancer neoadjuvant treatment in elderly patients. Anticancer Res. 2006;26(5B):3913-23.

Pastrello C, Baglioni S, Tibiletti MG, Papi L, Fornasarig M, Morabito A, Agostini M, Genuardi M, Viel A. Stability of BAT26 in tumours of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer patients with MSH2 intragenic deletion. Eur J Hum Genet. 2006,14;63- 68