Cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic potential of resveratrol: mechanistic perspectives

Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8;269(2):243-61. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.057. Epub 2008 Jun 11.


A plant kingdom is considered as a gold mine for the discovery of many biologically active substances with therapeutic values. Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene), a naturally occurring polyphenol, exhibits pleiotropic health beneficial effects including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and anti-tumor activities. Currently, numerous preclinical findings suggest resveratrol as a promising nature's arsenal for cancer prevention and treatment. A remarkable progress in dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying anti-cancer properties of resveratrol has been achieved in the past decade. As a potential anti-cancer agent, resveratrol has been shown to inhibit or retard the growth of various cancer cells in culture and implanted tumors in vivo. The compound significantly inhibits experimental tumorigenesis in a wide range of animal models. Resveratrol targets many components of intracellular signaling pathways including pro-inflammatory mediators, regulators of cell survival and apoptosis, and tumor angiogenic and metastatic switches by modulating a distinct set of upstream kinases, transcription factors and their regulators. This review summarizes the diverse molecular targets of resveratrol with a special focus on those involved in fine-tuning of orchestrated intracellular signal transduction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinogens / metabolism
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control
  • Protein Kinase C / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • NF-kappa B
  • Stilbenes
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Resveratrol