2010 IEO Breast Cancer Treatment Recommendations

A major international three-day conference took place between 16 and 18 June this year: the 12th Milan Breast Cancer Conference (MBCC) organised by the European Institute of Oncology, Milan.

Stefano Zurrida Scientific Coordinator of the MBCC Director Diagnostic and Surgical Senology Unit IEO and University of Milan School of Medicine

The MBCC is one of four world-level scientific conferences dealing with breast cancer.

It is unique in that it provides an all-round detailed picture of every aspect of the disease. Innovative treatment and research was presented, ranging from the latest discoveries in genetics and in primary prevention, to state-of-the-art radiological techniques for early diagnosis.

The conference boasted an outstanding international cast of doctors and researchers. In addition, participants took a close look at where we are now with surgery, pathology, molecular biology and radiotherapy.

New key therapeutic strategies have been developed which are more and more targeted and tailor-made and less and less aggressive and toxic.

This leads of course to clear benefits in terms of quality of life. During the MBCC, an impressive leaflet was presented detailing the "IEO Breast Cancer Treatment Recommendations.

The IEO is the world's foremost centre in terms of numbers of breast cancer cases diagnosed and treated every year. With such vast experience it is therefore in the position to draw up certain breast cancer guidelines.

These range from primary prevention, new treatment approaches, such as the now well-established conservative surgical procedures for the breast and axillary region (with sentinel node biopsy), right through to the new nipple-sparing mastectomy, where intraoperative radiotherapy is used to bring about an excellent aesthetic outcome.

Intraoperative radiotherapy is also nowadays used as a matter of routine, being administered in various modes for breast-conserving surgery.

This has the enormous advantage that the patient can avoid having to endure lengthy and often expensive periods of treatment after surgery. International trials for new treatments in nuclear medicine (avidinization) and medical oncology (in collaboration with the IBCSG - the International Breast Cancer Study Group) are currently under way, with the unwavering objective of even further improving the already high probability of cure, and at the same time guaranteeing the patient the utmost quality of life.

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