A failure of a cell to self destruct has long been associated with cancer progression and development. The fact that tumour cells may not instigate cell arrest or activate cell death mechanisms upon cancer drug delivery is a major concern. Autophagy is a mechanism whereby cell material can be engulfed and digested while apoptosis is a self-killing mechanism, both capable of hindering multiplication after cell injury. In particular situations, autophagy and apoptosis seem to co-exist simultaneously or interdependently with the aid of mutual proteins. This review covers roles of microRNAs and chemopreventive agents and makes an attempt at outlining possible partnerships in maximizing cancer cell death with minimal normal cell damage.