Roche has ordered the resumption of its phase III trial of Genetech's colon cancer treatment Avastin, following the recommendation of an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB).
Avastin is used in combination with the platinum-based drug oxaliplatin during the test.
A halt in the enrolment of patients into the trial was ordered so that a 60-day safety review could be conducted to investigate occurrences of cardiac and unknown deaths in one of the trial's groups.
"Following rapid patient enrolment into the Avant study, we believe the temporary halt of recruitment to assess safety was the right thing to do for patients," said Hal Barron, Genentech's senior vice president of development.
"The US-based adjuvant trial, NSABP C-08, has continued to enrol as planned with no changes to its protocol."
He added that the trial groups "provide an opportunity to investigate whether adding Avastin to standard chemotherapy as adjuvant therapy may be safe and effective in patients with early-stage colon cancer".