We evaluated the antitumor activity of tocotrienol (T3) on human hepatoma Hep3B cells. At first, we examined the effect of T3 on the proliferation of human hepatoma Hep3B cells and found that gamma-T3 inhibited cell proliferation at lower concentrations and shorter treatment times than alpha-T3. Then, we examined the effect of gamma-T3 apoptosis induction and found that gamma-T3 induced poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and stimulated a rise in caspase-3 activity. In addition, gamma-T3 stimulated a rise in caspase-8 and caspase-9 activities. We also found that gamma-T3-induced apoptotic cell death was accompanied by up-regulation of Bax and a rise in the fragments of Bid and caspase-8. These data indicate that gamma-T3 induced apoptosis in Hep3B cells and that caspase-8 and caspase-9 were involved in apoptosis induction. Moreover, these results suggest that Bax and Bid regulated apoptosis induction by gamma-T3.