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Resveratrol: An overview of its anti-cancer mechanisms

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the conventional primary treatments for cancer patients. However, most of cancer cells develop resistance to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy after a period of treatment, besides their lethal side-effects. This motivated investigators to seek more effective alternatives with fewer side-effects. In the last few years, resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic phytoalexin, has attracted much attention due to its wide biological effects. In this concise review, we highlight the role of resveratrol in the prevention and therapy of cancer with particular focus on colorectal and skin cancer. Also, we discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying its chemopreventive and therapeutic activity.Finally, we highlight the problems associated with the clinical application of resveratrol and how attempts have been made to overcome these drawbacks.