A new technology that came straight out of America's 'Star Wars' defence system could be the way forward for treating breast cancers. Focused Microwave Thermotherapy has killed large cancer tumours and reduced the need for mastectomies by 90 per cent. The microwave technology has been tested on late-stage breast tumours that measured up to an inch-and-a-half across, and the tumours shrank rapidly. The percentage of patients needing a mastectomy fell from 75 per cent to just 7 per cent. "Right now, most patients with large tumours lose their breast," said lead researcher William Dooley at the University of Oklahoma, which has pioneered the technology. In theory, the technology can be used on any organ that can be "held relatively still," he said, which suggests it could be used on other cancers, too. (Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology, 2009; doi: 10.1245/s10434-009-0872-z).