Genetic modification of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) is highly valuable for their exploitation in basic science and therapeutic applications, for example in cancer. We present here a new, fast and easy-to-use method to enrich a functional population of lentiviral (LV)-transduced MSC expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). We replaced the eGFP gene by a fusion gene of puromycin acetyltransferase and eGFP. Upon LV gene transfer and puromycin selection, we quickly obtained a pure transduced MSC population, in which growth, differentiation capacity and migration preferences were not compromised. Furthermore, we are the first to report the migration velocity of MSC among which 30% were moving and velocity of about 15 mum h(-1) was not altered by LV transduction. Manipulated MSC underwent senescence one passage earlier than non-transduced cells, suggesting the use for therapeutic intervention in early passage numbers. Upon tail vein application in nude mice, the majority of LV-transduced MSC could be detected in human orthotopic pancreatic tumor xenografts and to a minor extent in mouse liver, kidney and lung. Together, LV transduction of genes to MSC followed by puromycin selection is a powerful tool for basic research and improves the therapeutic prospects of MSC as vehicles in gene therapy.