It is with an extreme sadness, we have been informed that one of the fathers of interventional bronchoscopy, Dr. Jean-François DUMON, passed away on July 14. 2020.

In such circumstances, it is common to draw the panegyric of the person, and even more when dealing with a prominent medical leader and senior figure. It seems to be inappropriate for Jean-François DUMON because of the universally known link between his name and silicone stents. He was a strong advocate of interventional bronchoscopy through rigid bronchoscopy and endobronchial laser.

He was in particular a visionary for the use of silicone stents to manage endobronchial stenosis or obstruction, based on a strong daily clinical experience, demonstrating several decades ago, against the medical community at the beginning, that this medical device was totally safe and useful for the patients. Jean-François DUMON has brought a revolution in the management of central airway diseases and, in addition, was a dynamic leader both for the national and international organizations dedicated to interventional bronchoscopy as well as for research in this field. For his work he has received numerous international awards, among them the Killian Award of the WABIP being the most prestigious.

The international pulmonology community has lost an instrumental leader and for several people, in particular in our area, a mentor and, humbly, a friend. His footsteps are heavily printed, and may his legacy be to a blessing for the next generations of interventional pulmonologists and for all the patients waiting for new developments.

Our thoughts, these days, go to his family who stood by his side throughout his whole career, and to all the numerous pulmonologists who have been trained or have attended courses in his “laser center” at Sainte Marguerite Hospital, Marseille, to modestly catch a bit of his knowledge in rigid bronchoscopy, laser, and airway stenting.

Philippe ASTOUL, MD, PhD

Department of Thoracic Oncology, Pleural Diseases and Interventional Pulmonology - Hôpital NORD – Marseille - France