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Are lung nodules common after Bendeka & Rituxan therapy?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on May 4, 2023.

Official answer

  • 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.


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