Fibrosarcoma is an aggressive and highly metastatic cancer of the connective tissue, for which effective therapeutic methods are limited. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in small molecular compounds from natural products in the treatment of cancer. In the present study, we investigated the compound, scutellarein, extracted from the perennial herb Scutellaria lateriflora, and it was found to possess anticancer potential. Cell proliferation assay and cell cycle analysis revealed that the proliferation rate of HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells was significantly suppressed by treatment with scutellarein through the induction of apoptosis. Moreover, an in vivo experiment using Balb/c nude mice revealed that the volume and weight of the tumors were markedly reduced following treatment with scutellarein. We also analyzed the effects of scutellarein on the markers of metastasis, using the HT1080 cells. The results indicated that scutellarein potently inhibited cell migration, invasion and the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, -9 and -14. Furthermore, MMP activation and cell survival were suppressed due to the scutellarein-mediated downregulation of nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation. In conclusion, our data suggest that scutellarein has the ability to attenuate the development of fibrosarcoma and inhibit cancer cell metastasis.