Anti-leukemia effect of resveratrol

Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 May;43(5):983-7. doi: 10.1080/10428190290021669.


Resveratrol is a phytoalexin naturally present in fruits, medicinal plants and wines. It has a diversity of biological activities. While its role in the protection against coronary heart disease (CHD) in people with moderate wine consumption, remains unclear, resveratrol preferentially inhibits the growth of leukemia cells in culture. Potential mechanisms for its anti-leukemia effect include induction of leukemia cell differentiation, apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest at S-phase; and inhibition of DNA synthesis by inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase or DNA polymerase. Preliminary results suggest that resveratrol also inhibits the viability of freshly isolated leukemia cells, especially promyelocytic leukemia cells. Because of its low in vivo toxicity, resveratrol deserves further investigation as an anti-leukemia agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol