Resveratrol: Biological and pharmaceutical properties as anticancer molecule

Biofactors. Sep-Oct 2010;36(5):360-9. doi: 10.1002/biof.105.


There is ample evidence that shows an inverse relationship between consumption of fruit/vegetable-rich diets and the risk of cancer at various anatomical sites. In this review, we will assess and summarize recent advances on cancer prevention by resveratrol, a natural stilbenoid present in red grapes, peanuts, some common drinks, and dietary supplements. We will focus on data published within the past few years on in vivo model tumor animal studies that reinforce the chemopreventive efficacy of resveratrol against a multitude of cancers, as well as on its sensitization/enhancing activities against tumor cells when used in combination with established chemotherapeutic and pharmaceutical agents. In addition, we will review examples resveratrol-target proteins, denoted RTPs, including the 24-kDa cytosolic protein quinone reductase 2 (NQO2) discovered in our laboratory that may confer resveratrol responsiveness to cancer cells. We will discuss the possible role of NQO2 in mediating cancer prevention by resveratrol. Our analysis of published data strengthen support that resveratrol displays novel roles in various cellular processes, and help to establish an expanded molecular framework for cancer prevention by resveratrol in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Biological Availability
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Quinone Reductases / physiology*
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents / pharmacology
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / physiology


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • NRH - quinone oxidoreductase2
  • Quinone Reductases
  • Resveratrol