Tocotrienols are superior antioxidants that can combat free radicals in the human body, and have shown many biological functions such as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, maintaining fertility and regulating the immune system, associated with lowering tumour formation, having enhanced anti-cancer properties, as well as controlling tumour growth in certain types of cancer (Yam et al., 2009, Abd Hafid et al., 2010, Inoue & Zhang, 2011, Wong et al., 2012, Abdul Hafid et al., 2013). Some studies have shown that tocotrienols induce cell death in various cancers, such as breast, prostate, cervix and pancreas. Delta-tocotrienols (δ-T3) are believed to be more effective than other forms of tocotrienols in causing apoptosis or cell death in both oestrogen-nonresponsive and oestrogenresponsive breast cancer cells (Ahn et al., 2007, Inoue and Zhang, 2011, Wong et al., 2012). Since, tocotrienols as antioxidants have the ability in lowering oxidative stress, neutralise free radicals which functions as a chainbreaking antioxidant that prevents propagation of free radical reactions in all cell membranes (Devasagayam et al., 2004), it may be suggested as an alternative compound in treating and managing leukaemia diseases. There are only few reports on the effects of tocotrienols in leukaemic cells (Ahn et al., 2007, Al-Tonbary et al., 2008, Inoue and Zhang, 2011, Wong et al., 2012).
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB),
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.