Resveratrol and cancer treatment: updates

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Sep;1403(1):59-69. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13466.


Cancer, a growing health problem worldwide, affects millions of people every year. The overall survival rates of most cancers have been prolonged owing to the efforts of clinicians and scientists. However, some tumors develop resistance to chemoradiotherapeutic agents, and the cancer research community continues to search for effective sensitizers. Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic phytoalexin, has shown promising effects in inhibiting proliferation and cancer progression in several tumor models. However, its molecular mechanisms and applications in chemotherapy and radiotherapy have yet to be fully determined. In this concise review, we highlight the role and related molecular mechanisms of resveratrol in cancer treatment. In particular, we focus on the role of resveratrol in the tumor microenvironment and the sensitization of cancer cells for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Resveratrol shows promising efficacies in cancer treatment and may be applied in clinical therapy, but it requires further clinical study.

Keywords: cancer stem cells; cancer therapy; chemoradiosensitization; resveratrol; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol