The 17th edition of the St Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference was held in March 2021 in an entirely virtual mode. More than 3,300 participants took part in this important bi-annual critical review of the ‘state of the art’ in the multidisciplinary care of early-stage breast cancer (BC). Seventy-four experts from all continents discussed and commented on the previously elaborated consensus questions as well as numerous interrogations on early-BC diagnosis and treatment asked by the audience. The theme of this year’s Conference was ‘Customising local and systemic therapies’. This paper summarises the results of the 2021 international panel votes as a quick news update. We discuss the most important issues on genetics, pathology, surgery, radiotherapy and systemic therapies presented and debated throughout the conference. We selected the topics based on applicability into the personalised care of BC patients and focused on questions that have a clear impact on our current clinical practice.