Resveratrol-loaded nanomedicines for cancer applications

Cancer Rep (Hoboken). 2021 Jun;4(3):e1353. doi: 10.1002/cnr2.1353. Epub 2021 Mar 2.


Background: Resveratrol (3, 5, 4' -trihydroxystilbene), a natural polyphenol and phytoalexin, has drawn considerable attention in the past decade due to its wide variety of therapeutic activities such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. However, its poor water solubility, low chemical stability, and short biological half-life limit its clinical utility.

Recent findings: Nanoparticles overcome the limitations associated with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs, such as limited availability of drugs to the tumor tissues, high systemic exposures, and consequent toxicity to healthy tissues. This review focuses on the physicochemical properties of resveratrol, the therapeutic potential of resveratrol nano-formulations, and the anticancer activity of resveratrol encapsulated nanoparticles on various malignancies such as skin, breast, prostate, colon, liver, ovarian, and lung cancers (focusing on both in vitro and in vivo studies).

Conclusions: Nanotechnology approaches have been extensively utilized to achieve higher solubility, improved oral bioavailability, enhanced stability, and controlled release of resveratrol. The resveratrol nanoparticles have markedly enhanced its anticancer activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus considering it as a potential strategy to fight various cancers.

Keywords: cancer; in vitro; in vivo; nanoparticles; polyphenol; resveratrol.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Biological Availability
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Drug Stability
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticle Drug Delivery System / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Resveratrol / administration & dosage*
  • Resveratrol / chemistry
  • Resveratrol / pharmacokinetics
  • Solubility
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antioxidants
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Nanoparticle Drug Delivery System
  • Resveratrol