Plant polyphenols have an array of health benefits primarily thought to be related to their high content of anti-oxidants. These are commonly undervalued and knowledge of their biological properties have grown exponentially in the last decade. Polyphenol-rich sugarcane extract (PRSE), a natural extract from sugar cane, is marketed as high in anti-oxidants and polyphenols, but its anti-cancer activity has not been reported previously. We show that, PRSE exerts anti-cancer properties on a range of cancer cells including human (LIM2045) and mouse (MC38, CT26) colon cancer cells lines; human lung cancer (A549), human ovarian cancer (SKOV-3), pro-monocytic human leukemia (U937) and to mouse melanoma (B16) cell lines; whereas no effects were noted on human breast (ZR-75-1) and human colon (HT29) cancer cell lines, as well as to human normal colon epithelial cell line (T4056). Anti-proliferative effects were shown to be mediated via alteration in cytokines, VEGF-1 and NF-[kappa]B expression.