Michael J. Wagner, MD

Physician
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor
University of Washington School of Medicine
Assistant Member
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Specialty:
Medical Oncology
“A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming. It’s my privilege to help you face the challenges that you meet during the course of your care.”
— Dr. Wagner
Why do you practice oncology?

You’re going through life one way, and suddenly you’re stopped in your tracks with a medical diagnosis that requires all of your attention and some really big decisions. Knowing that, I chose to work in health care to help guide people facing the immense challenges of a life-altering diagnosis. It’s an exciting time to be a cancer doctor, as new targeted treatments and immunotherapies are revolutionizing the way cancer is treated. I’m here to help where I can as a physician and a researcher. During my training, I saw firsthand in oncology clinics that new discoveries were sorely needed. Ever since, I’ve wanted to use discoveries from the lab to develop new therapies to help those most in need.

Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies.
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What's it like to work with you?

As a member of your treatment team, I strive to partner with you. I provide clear information and innovative treatment options, empowering you to make decisions that best fit your goals. Treatments today are better tolerated and often more effective than therapies of the past. As we improve our understanding of the biology of cancer, I believe we’ll see new treatments that will, in time, make cancer a manageable disease. New discoveries continually lead to more treatment options, and combining options, such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy, will lead to more cures and a better quality of life.

Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Targeted therapy A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. Some targeted therapies block the action of certain enzymes, proteins or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other types of targeted therapies help the immune system kill cancer cells, or they deliver toxic substances directly to cancer cells and kill them. Targeted therapy may have fewer side effects than other types of cancer treatment. Most targeted therapies are either small molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies.

Provider background

Specialty: Medical Oncology

Area of clinical practice

Sarcomas

Bone and soft tissue sarcomas

I am a UW assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology. I also treat patients with various types of sarcoma. My clinical interests include research in bone and soft tissue sarcomas, targeted therapies for sarcomas and immunotherapies.

Vascular sarcomas

I’ve received multiple awards for my work studying sarcomas, especially vascular sarcomas. In addition to treating patients, I research the molecular drivers of sarcomas and use this knowledge to develop clinical trials, ultimately leading to new treatments for this rare group of diseases.

Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Targeted therapy A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. Some targeted therapies block the action of certain enzymes, proteins or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other types of targeted therapies help the immune system kill cancer cells, or they deliver toxic substances directly to cancer cells and kill them. Targeted therapy may have fewer side effects than other types of cancer treatment. Most targeted therapies are either small molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Undergraduate Degree
Duke University
Medical Degree
Harvard University
Residency
Mount Sinai Medical Center, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Medical Oncology
Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 2017; Internal Medicine, 2014, American Board of Internal Medicine
Languages
English

Stories

Novel approaches to Sarcoma: Clinical trials of immunotherapy, targeted agents and chemotherapy aim to improve survival
Novel approaches to Sarcoma: Clinical trials of immunotherapy, targeted agents and chemotherapy aim to improve survival

For years, sarcoma treatment was formulaic: Patients would cycle through standard chemotherapies and, if those were ineffective, there were few other options. But the sarcoma landscape has changed dramatically, with a surge of innovative drugs and investigational approaches that are creating hope against sarcoma and extending survival for some patients. 

Research

Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Study ID:
NCT03967223
Master Protocol to Assess the Safety and Antitumor Activity of Genetically Engineered T Cells in NY-ESO-1 and/or LAGE-1a Positive Solid Tumors (IGNYTE-ESO)
Complete title
Master Protocol to Assess the Safety and Antitumor Activity of Genetically Engineered NY-ESO-1-Specific (c259) T Cells, Alone or in Combination with Other Agents, in HLA-A2+ Participants with NY-ESO-1 and/or LAGE-1a Positive Solid Tumors (IGNYTE-ESO)
Study ID:
NCT02595866
Pembrolizumab in Treating Patients With HIV and Relapsed, Refractory, or Disseminated Malignant Neoplasms
Complete title
Phase I Study of MK-3475 (pembrolizumab) in Patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Relapsed/Refractory or Disseminated Malignant Neoplasm
Study ID:
NCT04044768
Spearhead 1 Study in Subjects With Advanced Synovial Sarcoma or Myxoid/Round Cell Liposarcoma
Complete title
A Phase 2 Single Arm Open-Label Clinical Trial of ADP-A2M4 SPEAR T cells in Subjects with Advanced Synovial Sarcoma or Myxoid/Round Cell Liposarcoma

Publications

Many of our SCCA physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this SCCA provider has written.

Press

SCCA providers are often asked to give their medical expertise for press and news publications. Read articles by or about this SCCA provider.

Ipilimumab-nivolumab combination effective, safe for angiosarcoma subset

SCCA's Michael Wagner, MD, shared findings from his Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Annual Meeting presentation about the combination therapy of ipilimumab and nivolumab for patients with metastatic or unresectable angiosarcoma. 

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Stephanie G. Doyle, PA-C
Stephanie G. Doyle, PA-C
Physician Assistant
Advanced Practice Provider
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Patient care coordinator
Patient care coordinator
Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.

Insurance

SCCA accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.