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Determining the interactions between murine melanoma cells and stroma. The addition of cancer-associated fibroblasts (red) to podoplanin-expressing melanoma cells (green) cultured within a 3-dimensional matrix stimulates invasive properties (lower panel) when compared with normal fibroblasts (red, top panel). After 2 days of culture with normal fibroblasts, podoplanin-expressing tumour cells retain their spheroid morphology. However, when alone or in the presence of cancer-associated fibroblasts, podoplanin- expressing cells outgrow the original spheroid structure and numerous podoplanin positive extensions can be seen penetrating the matrix.

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