Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have generated a great amount of enthusiasm over the past decade as a novel therapeutic paradigm for a variety of diseases. Currently, MSC based clinical trials have been conducted for at least 12 kinds of pathological conditions, with many completed trials demonstrating the safety and efficacy. This review provides an overview of the recent clinical findings related to MSC therapeutic effects. Roles of MSCs in clinical trials conducted to treat graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) and cardiovascular diseases are highlighted. Clinical application of MSC are mainly attributed to their important four biological properties- the ability to home to sites of inflammation following tissue injury when injected intravenously; to differentiate into various cell types; to secrete multiple bioactive molecules capable of stimulating recovery of injured cells and inhibiting inflammation and to perform immunomodulatory functions. Here, we will discuss these four properties. Moreover, the issues surrounding clinical grade MSCs and principles for MSC therapeutic approaches are also addressed on the transition of MSCs therapy from bench side to bedside.