Resistance of cancer cells to therapy is a challenge for achieving an appropriate therapeutic outcome. Cancer (stem) cells
possess several mechanisms for increasing their survival following exposure to toxic agents such as chemotherapy drugs, radiation as
well as immunotherapy. Evidences show that apoptosis plays a key role in response of cancer (stem) cells and their multi drug resistance.
Modulation of both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of apoptosis can increase efficiency of tumor response and amplify the therapeutic
effect of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and also immunotherapy. To date, several agents as adjuvant have been proposed
to overcome resistance of cancer cells to apoptosis. Natural products are interesting because of low toxicity on normal tissues.
Resveratrol is a natural herbal agent that has shown interesting anti-cancer properties. It has been shown to kill cancer cells selectively,
while protecting normal cells. Resveratrol can augment reduction/oxidation (redox) reactions, thus increases the production of ceramide
and the expression of apoptosis receptors such as Fas ligand (FasL). Resveratrol also triggers some pathways which induce mitochondrial
pathway of apoptosis. On the other hand, resveratrol has an inhibitory effect on anti-apoptotic mediators such as nuclear factor κ B (NFκB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), phosphatidylinositol 3–kinase (PI3K) and mTOR. In this review, we explain the modulatory effects of
resveratrol on apoptosis, which can augment the therapeutic efficiency of anti-cancer drugs or radiotherapy.