Alantolactone is a natural compound identified from the roots of Inula helenium L. that has multiple bio-activities. We examined its inhibitory effects on human non-small cell lung cancer(NSCLC) A549 cells. The antiproliferative effect of alantolactone on A549 ceils was investigated via MTT[3'-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assay and its apoptosis-inducing effect was determined by Hoechst staining and flow cytometry. We found that alantolactone significantly inhibited the proliferation of A549 cells and induced morphological changes typical for apoptosis. Flow cytometry analysis indicates dose-dependent cell cycle retardation at G0/G1 and S stages. The results indicate that alantolactone could be an attractive small-molecular natural compound for further development as a therapeutic drug against NSCLC.