From the 21st till the 24th of March, Vienna formed the spectacular background for the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC). The EBCC was jointly organised by the EORTC, EUSOMA and EUROPA DONNA and welcomed over 3500 participants. This report does not pretend to summarise the entire meeting but aims at discussing the most important take-home messages from the congress. (Belg J Med Oncol 2011;6:106–108)