Tissue homeostasis is maintained by tight control of signaling events that regulate cell death and cell survival. Apoptosis or programmed cell death plays a key role in maintaining tissue homeostasis under various conditions during normal development and in the adult organism. Thus, defective apoptosis programs contribute to the pathogenesis of various human diseases, for example to cancer formation. In addition, the antitumor activity of most cancer therapies, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy, is mediated by the activation of apoptosis in cancer cells. Natural compounds including resveratrol have attracted much attention over the last decade both as cancer chemopreventive agents and as cancer therapeutics. To this end, resveratrol inhibits signal transduction pathways that block apoptosis and/or promote cell survival. Insights into the molecular mechanisms of how resveratrol regulates cell survival and cell death signaling is expected to open new avenues for the exploitation of resveratrol in the prevention and treatment of cancer.