The effect of apple polyphenol extract (APE) on the proliferation and invasion of a rat ascites hepatoma cell line of AH109A was examined in vitro. APE suppressed both the hepatoma proliferation and invasion in a dose-dependent manner up to 200 mug/ml. Serum obtained from rats orally given APE also inhibited hepatoma proliferation and invasion when added to the culture medium. Subsequently, the effect of dietary APE on growth and the metastasis of AH109A hepatomas were investigated in vivo. APE reduced the growth and metastasis of solid hepatomas and significantly suppressed the serum lipid peroxide level in rats transplanted with AH109A. APE also suppressed the serum very-low-density lipoprotein + low-density lipoprotein (VLDL + LDL)-cholesterol level. These in vitro and in vivo findings suggest that APE has anti-hepatoma activities.