Abstract: Background: Sun ginseng (SG), a specific formulation of quality-controlled red ginseng contains approximately equal amounts of three major ginsenosides (RK1, Rg3, and Rg5), which reported has anti-tumor promoting activities in animal models.Method: MTT assay was employed to assess whether SG can potentiate the anticancer activity of epirubicin or paclitaxel in human cervical adenocarcinoma HeLa cells, human colon cancer SW111C cells, and SW480 cells; Apoptosis status was analyzed by Annexin V-FITC and PI and analyzed by flow cytometry; Apoptosis pathway was studied by analysis of caspas-3, -8, and -9 activation, mitochondrial accumulation of Bax and Bak, and cytochrome c release.Results: SG remarkably enhances cancer cell death induced by epirubicin or paclitaxel in human cervical adenocarcinoma HeLa cells, human colon cancer SW111C cells, and SW480 cells. Results of the mechanism study highlighted the cooperation between SG and epirubicin or paclitaxel in activating caspases-3 and -9 but not caspase-8. Moreover, SG significantly increased the mitochondrial accumulation of both Bax and Bak triggered by epirubicin or paclitaxel as well as the subsequent release of cytochrome c in the targeted cells.Conclusions: SG significantly potentiated the anticancer activities of epirubicin and paclitaxel in a synergistic manner. These effects were associated with the increased mitochondrial accumulation of both Bax and Bak that led to an enhanced cytochrome c release, caspase-9/-3 activation, and apoptosis. Treating cancer cells by combining epirubicin and paclitaxel with SG may prove to be a novel strategy for enhancing the efficacy of the two drug types.