<p class="first" id="d6858885e83">Polyphenols have been extensively studied for their
relevant anticancer activity.
Quite often however their instability, extensive metabolization, low bioavailability
and poor solubility limit their application in cancer prevention and therapy. Formulation
in nanoparticles has been widely proposed as a means to overcome these limits, maximize
localization and specific activity at tumor site. The present review is intended as
an update of literature regarding nanoparticulate carriers aimed to deliver polyphenols
to the cancer site. Three molecules were chosen, all of which were hydrophobic and
poorly soluble, representative of different polyphenol classes: quercetin (QT) among
the flavonoid group, curcumin (CUR) as representative of curcuminoids, and resveratrol
(RSV) among the stilbenes. In particular, nanoparticulate systems suitable for poorly
soluble drugs will be described and attention will be paid to characteristics designed
to improve tumor targeting, specific delivery and interaction with tumor cells.