Background: Resveratrol (RESV) is a naturally occurring compound that possesses anti-cancer capabilities. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential of RESV as an adjunct to chemotherapy in melanoma treatment. Methods: The in vitro and in vivo cytotoxic activity of RESV with or without chemotherapy was tested using cellular assays and a xenograft model. Two Duke melanoma cell lines (DM738, DM443) were used for both in vivo and in vitro experiments, and two nonmalignant human fibroblast lines (NHDF, HS68) were used for in vitro cellular assays. Xenografts were randomized to treatment arms and tumors measured to evaluate response. Results were analyzed using a Student's t-test and ANOVA. Western blots were performed on in vivo tissue. Results: In vitro RESV significantly decreased melanoma cell viability in all lines tested (all P < 0.0001). Treatment of fibroblast cell lines revealed that RESV selectively spared NHDF and HS68 cells compared with its cytotoxic effects on melanoma cells (P < 0.0001). Treatment of malignant cells with 50 μM RESV and temozolomide (TMZ) for 72 h significantly enhanced cytotoxicity compared with treatment with TMZ alone (P < 0.0001). In vivo, however, there was no significant difference between any treatment arms (P = 0.65). Conclusion: RESV shows promise as a novel therapeutic in the management of melanoma for its selective anti-tumor activity in vitro. Translating in vitro results to in vivo models has proven difficult. Barriers thought to prevent such translation are identified, and a rationale for overcoming them is discussed.
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