Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kan. -- A team of researchers from the anatomy and physiology department in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University has just closed the book on an important chapter on stem cell research.

The team, headed by associate professor Masaaki Tamura, contributed "Umbilical Cord Matrix Stem Cells for Cytotherapy of Breast Cancer" for the book "Stem Cell Therapeutics for Cancer," which was published in December 2013.

"Stem Cell Therapeutics for Cancer" was edited by Khalid Shah, an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School. The book covers the application of stem cells in various cancers, with an emphasis on the aspects of these strategies that are critical to the success of future stem cell-based therapies for human cancer.

"This is very exciting," Tamura said. "A number of researchers have shown a potential for the use of umbilical cord matrix stem cells for therapy in nerve injuries, renal failure and several organ-type cancers. Recent studies suggest there may be potentially good therapeutic cells for human breast cancer treatment."

As stated in the book chapter, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. Approximately 1 out of 8 women develops breast cancer in her lifetime, and this cancer-dependent mortality is the second leading cause of cancer-dependent death in women.

Kansas State University's Deryl Troyer, a professor of anatomy and physiology, and a group of graduate students, staff and postdoctoral fellows -- Naomi Ohta, Atsushi Kawabata, Deepthi Uppalapati and Susumu Ishiguro -- helped compose the chapter on breast cancer. The chapter examines immune evasion mechanisms and tropism of umbilical cord matrix stem cells to pathological lesions as well as the impact of therapies for primary breast cancer and breast cancer lung metastasis.

"Although cytotherapy with umbilical cord matrix stem cells seems to be a very promising and practical therapy for human cancer, inflammatory diseases and degenerative disorders, the potential for human use has not been rigorously studied," Tamura said. "Our research will further clarify the therapeutic potential and contribute significantly to the research in human stem cell-based targeted cancer therapy."