Breath temperature can be used to diagnose lung cancer, a team of researchers say.

According to the researchers, checking the temperature of exhaled breath could be a simple, non-invasive and cost-effective way of detecting lung cancer.

Previously, other scientists have tried making breath analyzers to detect specific compounds that act as a biomarker for lung cancer. In the present study, investigators from the University of Foggia, Italy looked at the temperature of breath to detect the cancer.

The study included 82 people who had undergone an X-ray examination that suggested the presence of a lung cancer. In the study group, 40 people had a positive diagnosis and 40 had negative. The team used X-Halo device to measure the temperature of the exhaled breath of the participants.

The scientists found that temperature of breath was not only associated with the presence of lung cancer, but also the stage of the lung cancer.

"Our results suggest that lung cancer causes an increase in the exhaled temperature. This is a significant finding and could change the way we currently diagnose the disease. If we are able to refine a test to diagnose lung cancer by measuring breath temperature, we will improve the diagnostic process by providing patients with a stress-free and simple test that is also cheaper and less intensive for clinicians," Giovanna Elisiana Carpagnano, lead author of the study from the University of Foggia, Italy, said in a news release.

The study was presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Munich.

A related lung cancer test was recently developed by researchers at Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues. This test also checked for volatile organic compounds to detect the cancer and sort the tumor by its subtypes.