Lung cancer is the cancer that takes the most lives worldwide. In Norway alone, 3000 people are affected annually and most die of the disease.

So far, the only effective detection method is screening with CT X-ray. New methods of detecting the disease in an early - and curable - stage are highly sought after.

Can dogs help us with this?


A project collaboration between:

Fjellanger Detection and Training Academy (FDTA), Helse Bergen and Bergen Technology Transfer (BTO)

The project is funded through the Research Council's FORNY funds and a substantial funding from all 3 parties participating in the project.


Today's method

Unfortunately, today's method of detecting lung cancer is very costly. This is partly because many people need to be screened with a CT-Xray to find people that actually have lung cancer. Secondly, a large proportion of these screenings have so-called uncertain findings and require a thorough but costly follow-up, similar to what cancer patients undergo.

Cancer Detection Dog - Program

In this project, which is the largest of its kind to date, we will assess whether dogs are able to discriminate breath samples from people with lung cancer from people who are either healthy or suffering from other lung diseases. The project is being carried out in close collaboration with the Lung Department at Helse Bergen.

The method is extremely easy for the individuals involved, the only strain being that they must breathe a few times into a small filter inside a small handheld cylinder. Our study aims to circumvent all the problems and weaknesses we have identified in previous studies in this field.

Why dogs

The dogs nose is a uniquely sensitive organ and we humans have not yet managed to develop any kind of technology that can beat it. The possibilities of using this nose are many!
FDTA's dogs have already demonstrated their qualities in detecting explosives (mines) on behalf of the UN and to detect hidden rust that can damage equipment (pipes and tanks) for the benefit of the oil and gas industry.



The aim of the project is to assess whether dogs can detect lung cancer at an early and curable stage. Successfully, we can replace CT X-ray as the first screening study, to better distinguish those individuals who really need more invasive lung cancer investigation. And there is an enormous cost saving potential for individuals and communities.