A study looking at a breath test to diagnose lung disease (The EARLY project)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer





This study is looking at developing a breath test to diagnose lung disease.

Everyone’s breath has a mixture of chemicals in it. This mixture changes with what we eat and drink. It can also change if we are ill.

More about this trial

The researchers want to find out if looking at chemicals in breath may help diagnose lung disease. To do this they need to get a breath sample from people with lung disease and people without. These samples are then analysed to see if the chemicals differ between those who have lung disease and those who don’t.

The aim of this study is to put together a database of breath samples that may help develop an early diagnosis test for lung disease.

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if you have lung cancer and are at least 18 years old.

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You

  • Have had surgery or a bronchoscopy, in the past week
  • Have very bad eyesight or are very deaf

Trial design

The researchers need 400 people to join this study.

During your clinic appointment at the hospital the researcher will ask you to give a breath sample. To do this you put a mouth piece into your mouth and continue to breathe normally for up to 20 seconds. The mouth piece is connected to a machine called a breath analyser. It analyses the chemicals in your breath.

mouth piece picture                         Breath analyser picture

Mouth Piece                                               Breath Analyser

You must not eat or drink for 2 hours before giving the breath sample. This includes drinking tea and coffee and chewing gum or eating mints.

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits if you take part in this study.

Side effects

You may feel slightly lightheaded when you give the breath sample. But you will be sitting down and it will pass quickly.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Emma Brodrick

Supported by

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of South Wales

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

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