Are lung nodules common after Bendeka & Rituxan therapy?
Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on May 14, 2020.
- Lung nodules are not commonly found after Bendeka and Rituxan therapy.
- Rarely, interstitial lung disease has been reported with rituximab treatment, and in a couple of cases people were taking bendamustine (Bendeka) as well.
- Lung nodules are commonly found during routine x-rays, showing up on one in every 500 x-rays. Most are benign (noncancerous).
Although there have been a few case reports of interstitial lung disease (ILD) developing following Rituximab (RTX) therapy, it is considered a rare complication of rituximab therapy but one that doctors should monitor for because it may be potentially fatal.
Published case reports mostly reported ILD happening in people taking Rituximab; however, at least two reported the combination of rituximab and bendamustine (Bendeka), for example:
- A 71-year-old man who developed ILD one month after finishing two treatment cycles of RTX and bendamustine with a 2-week interval
- A 63-year-old man who had weekly RTX for 4 weeks, followed by a combination of RTX and bendamustine.
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) is an umbrella term for a large group of lung diseases that cause scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. Scarring makes it difficult to breathe and get oxygen to the bloodstream.
What is a lung nodule?
A lung nodule is a small round or oval solid overgrowth of tissue in the lungs that is seen on an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan.
Nodules are common and they show up on about one in every 500 chest x-rays. There may be just one solitary nodule or there may be several. Lung nodules may be benign (noncancerous) or cancerous. Nodules are more likely to be benign if:
- They are small
- There is calcium in the nodule
- You are younger than 40
- You do not smoke.
- Bendeka (bendamustine) Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. https://www.drugs.com/pro/bendeka.html#s-34090-1
- Bendamustine Chemocare. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/bendamustine.aspx
- Bendeka (bendamustine) Medical News Today. 2020 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/bendeka;
- Uma Maheswari Krishnaswamy, Vinayak V. Maka, Murali Subramanian, et al. Rituximab Induced Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: A Clinical Study of Six Cases and Review of the Literature Lymphoma, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/160421
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