Aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT) is a cancer therapy that combines the selective accumulation of a photosensitizer in tumor tissue with visible light (and tissue oxygen) to produce reactive oxygen species. This results in cellular damage and ablation of tumor tissue. The use of iron chelators in combination with ALA has the potential to increase the accumulation of the photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) by reducing its bioconversion to heme. This study compares directly for the first time the effects of the novel hydroxypyridinone iron chelating agent CP94 and the more clinically established iron chelator desferrioxamine (DFO) on the enhancement of ALA and methyl-aminolevulinate (MAL)-induced PpIX accumulations in cultured human cells. Cultured human cells were incubated with a combination of ALA, MAL, CP94 and DFO concentrations; the resulting PpIX accumulations being quantified fluorometrically. The use of iron chelators in combination with ALA or MAL was shown to significantly increase the amount of PpIX accumulating in the fetal lung fibroblasts and epidermal carcinoma cells; while minimal enhancement was observed in the normal skin cells investigated (fibroblasts and keratinocytes). Where enhancement was observed CP94 was shown to be significantly superior to DFO in the enhancement of PpIX accumulation.