The changes of methylation status of various gene promoters are a common feature of malignant cells and these changes can occur early in the progression process. Therefore, abnormal methylation can be used as cancer marker. Such studies will first require the development of a panel of methylated markers that are methylated in cancer tissues but unmethylated in normal tissues or methylated status is different between cancer tissues and normal tissues. By using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) assay method, we observed alterations in DNA methylation at the double promoter regions of the progesterone receptor (PR) gene and estrogen receptor (ERalpha) gene in various tumor cell lines. Compared with normal white blood cell, the methylation status of PRA promoter in various cancer cell lines changed from unmethylation pattern to methylation pattern. That of PRB promoter changed from both unmethylated and methylated alleles to only methylated allele. The methylation status of ERalpha-A and ERalpha-B promoter in various cancer cell lines are cell -specific. This study indicates that PR promoter methylation may be a molecular marker in various cancer detections. And the methylation status of ERalpha-A and ERalpha-B is cell-specific.