Tocotrienols are naturally occurring isoprenoid compounds highly enriched in palm oil, rice bran, oat, wheat germ, barley and rye. Tocotrienols have antioxidant properties as well as potent anticancer properties. In this study, the mechanisms underlying the apoptosis of gamma-tocotrienol on human gastric adenocarcinoma SGC-7901 cells were further studied, especially in correlation with the involvement of the apoptotic pathway. gamma-Tocotrienol inhibited SGC-7901 cell growth in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The inhibitory effects of SGC-7901 cells were correlated with the DNA damage and arresting cell cycle at G(0)/G(1) phase in a time-dependent manner at 60 mumol/L concentration of gamma-tocotrienol. gamma-Tocotrienol induced activation of caspase-3 and increased the cleavage of the downstream substrate poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Furthermore, gamma-tocotrienol-induced apoptosis on SGC-7901 cells was mediated by activation of caspase-9. The data in this study suggested that gamma-tocotrienol could induce the apoptosis on human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells via mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway. Thus, our findings revealed gamma-tocotrienol as a potential, new chemopreventive agent for human gastric cancer.