Kirsten Sandstrom with her husband and three sons.

Welcome to Kirsten's Legacy.

Named in memory of Kirsten Sandstrom, Kirsten's Legacy is TGen's research and clinical program for defeating Adrenocortical Carcinoma (ACC). TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, is a non-profit Phoenix, Arizona, based institute that employs a number of today's leading genomic researchers studying many types of cancer, including ACC.

ACC is rare: less than 2 individuals in 1 million are affected. When the numbers are that low, few federal or philanthropic dollars flow toward studying the causes or finding a cure. That means fewer advances in diagnoses or therapeutic treatments.

Kirsten's Legacy actively supports full-time adrenal cancer research at TGen, as well as a patient clinic in collaboration with Scottsdale Healthcare, and provides valuable resources for patients and their families, all focused on defeating ACC, also known as cancer of the adrenal cortex. TGen scientists and clinicians conduct their work with a sense of extreme urgency, knowing the fight against ACC lingers and few institutions are working to defeat this deadly cancer.

Kirsten's Legacy ultimately will affect so many more patients than those with ACC, since what is learned through the study of this rare disease will also be applied to other cancers.

Kirsten's Legacy and the ATAC Fund Join Forces

Prior to developing Kirsten's Legacy, early funding for TGen's ACC program came from ACC survivor Troy Richards, who was instrumental in establishing TGen's ACC program. Richards has actively raised dollars for ACC research through the Advancing Treatment for Adrenal Cancer (ATAC) fund. This program helped bring ACC research out of the dark ages and into the 21st century.

In late 2010, Gary and Barbara Pasquinelli of Yuma, Arizona, began working with TGen to establish Kirsten’s Legacy in memory of their daughter Kirsten Sandstrom, a young woman, wife and mother of three, who had lost her battle with ACC in March of that year.

Richards and the Pasquinelli family merged efforts and today pursue a cure for ACC through the Kirsten’s Legacy program.

TGen's and ACC Research

Historically, researchers have made little progress toward finding an effective treatment for adrenal cancer. In fact, only one drug, called Mitotane — a derivative of DDT— earned FDA approval in the last 40 years.

TGen hopes to change that.

TGen is one of only a handful of research institutes with an active research staff pursuing breakthroughs against ACC. Our researchers and clinicians leverage the latest in technologies, many never before used on ACC research and in some cases never used on any other cancer research. TGen has and will continue to discover groundbreaking technologies and new targets, producing more ACC data than ever before.

Currently, TGen is conducting one of the most comprehensive genomic studies of adrenal cancer undertaken to date.

The hope is that the information obtained will enable TGen researchers to pinpoint the abnormalities of ACC tumors, learn about the biology, and in turn, use that information against the disease in a clinical setting to more effectively treat patients.

Support Kirsten's Legacy

We encourage you to learn more about Kirsten’s Legacy and strongly consider supporting our pledge to defect ACC. All monies raised support advances in ACC research and clinical care. Donate.

To speak with a TGen Foundation representative, please contact Ms. Erin Massey, Director of Development, at 602-343-8470.



New Clinical Trial Now Open

A Phase I, open-label, non-randomized, dose-finding trial conducted at multiple clinical centers. The study is designed to determine the safety, tolerability and PK of TKM-080301 in adult patients with solid tumors or lymphomas that are refractory to standard therapy or for whom there is no standard therapy.

If you're interested please contact the following person:

Joyce Schaffer MSN RN AOCNS 
Cancer Care Coordinator 
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center
Clinical Trials
10510 N. 92nd Street, Suite 200 
Scottsdale, AZ  85258 
Office 480-323-1339 or 1-877-273-3713
Fax 480-882-5820


Our Mission

The mission of Kirsten’s Legacy is to provide valuable resources to patients and their families while working to cure ACC through identification of new therapies and advancing those discoveries, as quickly as possible, to clinical trials.


Latest ACC News

Find out the latest news about research and discoveries surrounding adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) and other types of cancer, including clinical trials and other cutting-edge efforts to combat this rare disease that attacks the adrenal glands.


How to Get Involved

While ACC is one of most rare and lethal of endocrine cancers, it remains one of the least well funded. Please support our efforts to find new therapies as well as new means of preventing and curing this devastating form of cancer.