Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death, and there remains a need for novel therapies for this malignancy. Here, we examined the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (LA), a drug used for treating human diabetic complications, on lung cancer growth. We report that LA limited lung cancer growth in xenograft mice and reduced lung cancer A549 cell viability. We observed autophagy activation in human lung cancers, and report that LA inactivated autophagy in A549 cells. In addition, LA activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/p70S6K signaling. Inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin reversed LA-induced inactivation of autophagy and abolished LA-induced suppression of A549 cell viability. Altogether, the data suggest that LA exerts an anti-lung cancer effect through mTOR-mediated inhibition of autophagy, and thus LA may have therapeutic potential for lung cancer management.