Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have attracted more attention in antitumor therapy by using MSCs as vehicles or targeting modulators of MSCs. But their role and mechanisms in tumor progression are less known. In the present study, we successfully isolated pairs of MSCs from lung cancer (LC-MSCs) and adjacent tumor-free tissues. Based on the coculture system in vitro and animal studies in vivo, we originally found that LC-MSCs significantly promoted tumor metastasis and tumorigenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Partial epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) was induced in lung cancer cells by LC-MSCs by the evidence of remarkable increase in snail and slug expression but not in other EMT-associated genes. The expression of stem related genes also escalated significantly. And spheroids perfectly formed when tumor cells were co-incubated with LC-MSCs. These results revealed a close link of partial EMT and acquisition of stem-like traits in lung cancer cells which was induced by LC-MSCs and greatly promoted metastasis and tumorigenesis in lung cancer. Our findings provided a new insight into LC-MSCs in tumor progression and helped to identify LC-MSCs as a potential vehicle or target for lung cancer therapy.