The polyphenolic compound Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytochemical and can be found in many plant species, including grapes, peanuts and various herbs. Several studies have established that Resveratrol can exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It also has activity in the regulation of multiple cellular events associated with carcinogenesis. This review describes the general properties of Resveratrol including its relationship to estrogen, its effect on lipid metabolism, its cardiovascular effects, and its role on gene expression. Resveratrol has also been examined in several model systems for its potential effect against cancer. Its anti-cancer effects include its role as a chemopreventive agent, its ability to inhibit cell proliferation, its direct effect in cytotoxicity by induction of apoptosis and on its potential therapeutic effect in pre-clinical studies. In addition, Resveratrol has been shown to exert sensitization effects on cancer cells that will result in a synergistic cytotoxic activity when Resveratrol is used in combination with cytotoxic drugs in drug-resistant tumor cells. Clearly, the studies with Resveratrol provide support for the use of Resveratrol in human cancer chemoprevention and combination with chemotherapeutic drugs or cytotoxic factors in the treatment of drug refractory tumor cells.
Keywords: resveratrol, cancer, chemoprevention, apoptosis, chemoimmunosensitization
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