A breakthrough treatment for early stage breast cancer destroys the disease with fewer side effects than the usual approach, trials show. Targeting tumours directly with radiotherapy is as successful as treating the whole breast, the research led by Cambridge University found. It means women could be treated just as effectively but experience fewer unwelcome changes to their breasts. Experts welcomed the results as “a major step forward” in improving quality of life for patients without reducing the likelihood of them being cured. Professor Arnie Purushotham, Cancer Research UK’s senior clinical adviser, said: “One of the challenges when treating early stage breast cancer is trying to minimise the side effects that can have a real impact on a woman’s life, without affecting the chances of curing her.