The effective microorganism (EM-X) fermentation extract is derived from rice bran and seaweed extract. It has been shown to possess anti-oxidation activity both in vitro and in vivo. To our knowledge, the possible in vitro anti-cancer potential of EM-X has not been demonstrated. Here we showed that the double concentrate of EM-X (EM-X2) at concentrations of 20-30% by volume, had growth inhibitory activity on MDA-MB231 breast cancer cell line and K-562 chronic myelogenous leukaemia cell lines by [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2-H-tetrazolium, inner salt] (MTS) assay. No characteristic features of apoptosis could be observed morphologically. Colony formation assay illustrated that both MDA-MB231 breast cancer and K-562 CML cells lost part of their regeneration potential after treatment with EM-X2 at 30% concentration by volume for 24 h. At these concentrations, only slight growth inhibitory effect was observed in 293 human kidney fibroblast cells and in three non-malignant bone marrows. Intracellular nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction assay showed that both MDA-MB231 breast cancer and K-562 CML cells had about 30% reduction of intracellular NBT after incubation with 30% of EM-X2. Increased activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) could be detected from both MDA-MB231 and K-562 cell lines after incubating with 30% of EM-X2. Taken together, our data suggested that EM-X could inhibit growth and reduce the regeneration potential of cancer cells, possibly through its antioxidation activity.