BACKGROUND The plant-derived terpenoid, alpha-pinene is a bicyclic monoterpene potentially useful for the treatment of various diseases which also includes cancer and its types. The present investigation is about finding the anticancer activity of the alpha-pinene extracted from the leaves of Boswellia dalzielii over the PA-1 cancer cells of the human ovary. MATERIAL AND METHODS The cytotoxic activity of the alpha-pinene was evaluated using MTT and LDH assays which indicated that alpha-pinene could induce cytotoxicity in cancer-causing cells in the ovary. The consequences of alpha-pinene on the cell sequence regulation were determined by the staining technique using propidium iodide (PI) followed with flow cytometry. RESULTS The cell cycle distribution analysis showed that alpha-pinene inhibit the cycle progression from G₂ to M phase. In addition, apoptosis analysis is done through the double staining investigation using Annexin V-FITC/PI to analyze the controlled growth of alpha-pinene which is associated with the apoptosis. Caspase-3 a crucial enzyme involved in apoptosis was markedly increased in the a-pinene treated PA-1 cells. The apoptosis results reveal, that the cancer cells at the human ovary with alpha-pinene induces the significant populations of apoptotic cells. CONCLUSIONS Overall, alpha-pinene may exert anticancer effects in PA-1 cells by promoting cytotoxicity, suppression of cell sequence progression along with the programmed cell death.