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Pelosi Introduces Bill to Form 25th Amendment Commission to Rule on President’s Fitness

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday introduced a bill to establish a commission that would rule on the president’s fitness for office.

The bill, which Pelosi introduced along with Congressman Jamie Raskin, would form a congressionally-appointed body called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, which would serve as “the body and process called for in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the offices of Pelosi and Raskin said in a statement.

On Thursday, Pelosi expressed doubts about President Trump’s health after his coronavirus diagnosis and announced that over the next day she will be discussing the constitutional measure that allows the vice president to take over if the president becomes incapacitated.

The measure is meant to “enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership” regarding the presidency.

Pelosi stressed Friday that she is unaware of Trump’s current mental fitness but said some medical professionals have cautioned that certain drugs could alter a patient’s state of mind. Trump has been prescribed several drugs since he tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of voters. But he shows the need to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi said.

“We have to give some comfort to people that there is a way to do this,” the speaker continued, “based on a medical decision again, with the full involvement of the vice president.”

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Radiation Plus Surgery May Be Best Against an Early Form of Breast Cancer | Health News

By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Research following patients for nearly three decades finds that surgery plus radiation beats surgery alone for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) — a common, early form of breast cancer that can become invasive cancer.

However, the study also found that any survival advantage for the combo treatment appears to fade over the long term.

Still, “overall, the addition of radiotherapy gives women the best chances,” concluded study leader Maartje van Seijen of the Netherlands Cancer Institute. She presented the findings Saturday at the European Breast Cancer Conference, held online this year.

One U.S. breast surgeon called the new study a “great opportunity” to glean new insights about DCIS.

“This article is unique, in that it follows a very large number of women with DCIS over a very long time — 10,045 women followed for 27 years,” said Dr. Alice Police, who wasn’t involved in the study. She’s regional director of breast surgery at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

“DCIS is a common form of very early breast cancer where the bad cells have not spread out of the milk ducts,” Police explained. Because it is such an early form of breast cancers, there are concerns about “overtreatment,” she said.

The new research sought to address those concerns. In the study, Dutch women were diagnosed with a DCIS between 1989 and 2004. They were then treated with either breast-sparing surgery (lumpectomy) to remove the DCIS; breast-sparing surgery followed by radiotherapy, or a full mastectomy.

In the first 10 years after diagnosis, women who had breast-sparing surgery alone had a 13% risk of being diagnosed with DCIS again and a 13.9% risk of invasive breast cancer.

In contrast, women treated with breast-sparing surgery plus radiotherapy had a 4.6% risk of recurrent DCIS and a 5.2% risk of invasive breast cancer, the researchers reported.

But the differences between the two groups of women grew smaller with time. Ten or more years after their DCIS diagnosis, women who had breast-sparing surgery only had a 1.2% risk of recurrent DCIS and an 11.8% risk of invasive breast cancer.

Over the same interval of time, women treated with breast-sparing surgery and radiotherapy had a 2.8% risk of recurrent DCIS and a 13.2% risk of invasive breast cancer, van Seijen’s group said.

Women who had a mastectomy had the lowest risk of invasive breast cancer, the study found.

The findings clarify the long-term risks for women with DCIS and may help them and their doctors decide the best treatment for them, the study authors said.

“The risk of DCIS or invasive cancer recurring in these women will diminish over time, whether they had just the breast-sparing surgery or breast-sparing surgery with radiotherapy,” van Seijen said in a conference news release. Radiotherapy seems to provide a bit more protection, at least over the shorter term.

“There remains a chance of a new DCIS or invasive cancer developing that is

Penn Medicine researchers discover a rare genetic form of dementia


IMAGE: Abnormal neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) — a buildup of tau protein in parts of the brain — helped Edward Lee, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and…
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Credit: Edward Lee

PHILADELPHIA — A new, rare genetic form of dementia has been discovered by a team of Penn Medicine researchers. This discovery also sheds light on a new pathway that leads to protein build up in the brain — which causes this newly discovered disease, as well as related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease — that could be targeted for new therapies. The study was published today in Science.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a buildup of proteins, called tau proteins, in certain parts of the brain. Following an examination of human brain tissue samples from a deceased donor with an unknown neurodegenerative disease, researchers discovered a novel mutation in the Valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene in the brain, a buildup of tau proteins in areas that were degenerating, and neurons with empty holes in them, called vacuoles. The team named the newly discovered disease Vacuolar Tauopathy (VT)–a neurodegenerative disease now characterized by the accumulation of neuronal vacuoles and tau protein aggregates.

“Within a cell, you have proteins coming together, and you need a process to also be able to pull them apart, because otherwise everything kind of gets gummed up and doesn’t work. VCP is often involved in those cases where it finds proteins in an aggregate and pulls them apart,” Edward Lee, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “We think that the mutation impairs the proteins’ normal ability to break aggregates apart.”

The researchers noted that the tau protein they observed building up looked very similar to the tau protein aggregates seen in Alzheimer’s disease. With these similarities, they aimed to uncover how this VCP mutation is causing this new disease — to aid in finding treatments for this disease and others. Rare genetic causes of diseases can very often offer insight into more prevalent ones.

The researchers first examined the proteins themselves, in addition to studying cells and an animal model, and found that the tau protein buildup is, in fact, due to the VCP mutation.

“What we found in this study is a pattern we’ve never seen before, together with a mutation that’s never been described before,” Lee said. “Given that this mutation inhibits VCP activity, that suggest the converse might be true — that if you’re able to boost VCP activity, that could help break up the protein aggregates. And if that’s true, we may be able to break up tau aggregates not only for this extremely rare disease, but for Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases associated with tau protein aggregation.”


Lee led this work with first author, Nabil Darwich, MD/PhD student in the Neuroscience Graduate Group at Penn.

These findings describe a new biologic function of VCP, define a