Crude methanol extracts of 58 mushroom species were screened for their cytotoxic activities against two murine cancer cell lines, L1210 and 3LL, using the tetrazolium assay. A majority of extracts (74%) exhibited IC50 > 100 microg/ml against both cell lines. A most marked activity against one of the cell lines was noted for nine species (14% of the tested species). While Amanitales and Russulales tested were not found active, Polyporales and Boletales gave better results. Four species exhibited a significant cytotoxic activity (IC50 < or = 20 microg/ml) against at least one of the two murine cancer cell lines (Ganoderma lucidum, Meripilus giganteus, Suillus granulatus, S. luteus). The last one had never been investigated for its cytotoxic compounds before.