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Magnetic nanoparticles are promising tools for the minimal invasive elimination of small tumours in the breast using magnetically-induced heating. The approach complies with the increasing demand for breast conserving therapies and has the advantage of offering a selective and refined tuning of the degree of energy deposition allowing an adequate temperature control at the target. The biophysical basis of the approach, the magnetic and structural properties of magnetic nanoparticles are reviewed. Results with model targets and in vivo experiments in laboratory animals are reported.