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Front Oncol. 2012 Oct 8;2:125. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2012.00125. eCollection 2012.

Breast cancer: from "maximum tolerable" to "minimum effective" treatment.

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Department of Senology, European Institute of Oncology Milan, Italy.


Randomized trials have played a fundamental role in identifying better treatments for most type of diseases, especially in the oncological field. In breast cancer, the shift from "maximum tolerable" to "minimum effective" treatment has been evident since the 1970s and has been based on the results of international randomized trials. The progress of breast surgery represents an excellent model of the evolution of science and the aim of this article is to review the main randomized studies that changed everyday practice in breast surgery.


breast cancer; conservative treatment; maximum tolerable treatment; minimum effective treatment; randomized trials

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