The search for novel and effective cancer chemopreventive agents has led to the identification of various naturally occurring compounds one of which is resveratrol (trans-3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene), a phytoalexin derived from the skin of grapes and other fruits. Resveratrol is known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and to inhibit platelet aggregation and the growth of a variety of cancer cells. Its potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities have been demonstrated in all three stages of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion, and progression), in both chemically and UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis in mice, as well as in various murine models of human cancers. Evidence from numerous in vitro and in vivo studies has confirmed its ability to modulate various targets and signaling pathways. This review discusses the current preclinical and mechanistic data available and assesses resveratrol's anticancer effects to support its potential as an anticancer agent in human populations. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.