OBJECTIVE:The fatality of cancer is mostly dependent on the possibility of occurrence of metastasis. Thus, if the development of metastasis can be prevented through novel therapeutic strategies targeted against this process, then the success of cancer treatment will drastically increase. In this study, therefore, we evaluated the antimetastatic potentials of an extract of Khaya senegalensis and curcumin on the metastatic liver cell line HepG2, and also assessed the anticancer property of the extract. METHODS:Cells were cultured and treated with graded concentrations of test substances for 24, 48, or 72 h with provisions made for negative controls. Treated cells were assessed as follows: nanotechnologically - atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to determine cell stiffness; biochemically - cell cytotoxicity, glutathione level and adenosine triphosphate status, caspase activation and mitochondrial toxicity were considered; and microbiologically - a carrot disk assay was used to assess the anticancer property of the extract of K. senegalensis. RESULTS:Curcumin and K. senegalensis increased the cell stiffness by 2.6- and 4.0-fold respectively, indicating their antimetastatic effects. Corresponding changes in redox (glutathione level) and energy (adenosine triphosphate) status of the cells were also demonstrated. Further mechanistic studies indicated that curcumin was not mitotoxic in HepG2 cells unlike the K. senegalensis extract. In addition, the extract potently inhibited the Agrobacterium tumefaciens-induced genetic transformation based on carrot disk assay. CONCLUSION:Cell elasticity measurement data, using AFM, strongly suggested, for the first time, that both curcumin and the extract of K. senegalensis exhibited antimetastatic properties on HepG2 cells.