A number of naturally occurring sesquiterpene lactones have been studied for cytotoxic activity against three different cell lines. The results obtained show that the most immediate and direct factor responsible for cytotoxicity of the compounds studied is the introduction of the O=C-C=CH2 system.

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We are indebted to USPHS Research Grant CA-12360-01 from the National Cancer Institute, to University Research Council Grant VF 170-1511 of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to North Carolina Pharmaceutical Foundation, to USPHS Research Grant GM-14240-04, and to Subgrant IN 15-L from the American Cancer Institute.

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