Myriadenolide is a diterpene that we have recently isolated from the extract of Alomia myriadenia (Asteraceae). Here we show for the first time that myriadenolide has caspase-dependent cytotoxic activity against human leukemia cells from both lymphocytic (Jurkat) and monocytic (THP-1) lineages, because preincubation of Jurkat or THP-1 cells with the broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk completely abrogated cell death. Moreover, the mitochondrial pathway is implicated as mitochondrial depolarization and caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation were observed. Interestingly, caspase-8 and cleavage of the proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family BID was also observed during apoptosis induced by myriadenolide, suggesting a role for the caspase-8/BID pathway. However, interference with Fas or TNFR1 signaling did not interfere with apoptosis in our experimental system. Furthermore, pretreatment of cells with the caspase-3 inhibitor DEVD-fmk completely blocked the activation of caspase-8, suggesting that the activation of the caspase-8/BID pathway is part of an amplification loop initiated by caspase-3. Taken together, our results indicate myriadenolide as a novel candidate for the treatment of hematological malignancies.