Pterostilbene (trans-3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxystilbene) is an antioxidant that is primarily found in blueberries. Studies suggest that pterostilbene exhibits the hallmark characteristics of an effective anticancer agent based on its antineoplastic properties in several common malignancies. In vitro models have shown that pterostilbene inhibits cancer growth through alteration of the cell cycle, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of metastasis. In vivo, pterostilbene inhibits tumorigenesis and metastasis with negligible toxicity. Pterostilbene has also been shown to be effective as an inducer of antioxidant capacity in multiple cancer cell lines that may facilitate its function as an anticarcinogenic compound. Additionally, preliminary studies show that pterostilbene exhibits much greater bioavailability compared with other stilbene compounds; however the exact pharmacologic mechanism of pterostilbene and its effects in humans are still under investigation. In this review, we present a comprehensive summary of the antineoplastic mechanisms of pterostilbene based on the results of preclinical studies and highlight recent advances in the study of this dietary compound.
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